Anglo American to cut 2,000 jobs at Union, Twickenham mines

The company has proposed a restructuring process that will impact thousands of its employees.

Anglo American Platinum’s Khuseleka mine shaft in Marikana, North West. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Anglo American has announced it will be cutting up to 2,000 jobs at its Union and Twickenham mines.

The company has proposed a restructuring process that will impact thousands of its employees.

It says the current economic outlook remains uncertain and it's been forced to intervene further in order to sustain the company's long term structure.

Spokesperson Mpumi Sithole says the final number of job cuts will be determined after a consultation process.

"We are proposing to undertake further restricting at Union Mine to ensure that the operation is both cash positive and sustainable. We have also resolved to place Twickenham Platinum Mine on maintenance."

Amplats, a unit of global mining group Anglo American, is pivoting its strategy on newer and more mechanised mines and removing unprofitable ounces following a record five-month strike in 2014 that damaged the viability of its mines.

Platinum prices have been battered by growth concerns in key consumer China and oversupply worries forcing firms to abandon projects and sell mines to cope.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which is the majority union at the mine, said it would oppose the job cuts.

"We are worried about the jobs bloodbath in the South African mining industry. Are mining companies here to create jobs or are they here to cut jobs? It looks like the companies are here to cut jobs and focus on profits," NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu said.

Mining firms in Africa's most industrialised are struggling due to weakening global commodities prices for the country's platinum, gold, iron ore and coal exports.

Additional reporting by Reuters.