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AngloGold CEO: Possible job cuts a ‘difficult decision’

Africa's biggest gold miner says the possible 8,000 job cuts are part of its effort to improve cost base and production of its operations in the country.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – AngloGold Ashanti says it may be forced to retrench over 8,000 of its workers now that two of its mines have reached the end of their economic lives.

Africa's biggest gold miner says the possible job cuts are part of its effort to improve cost base and production of its operations in the country.

The company says it's critical that it acts to protect the long-term sustainability of the business along with the majority of its workforce.

Chief executive officer Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan says the two mines have been making major losses for a while now.

“We are taking one of the mines into maintenance and we are also seeing that in part of Tautona, what parts of it can actually be intergrated into Mponeng. This decision is a tough one for us as it is for the employees.”

Meanwhile, the National Union of Mineworkers has called on the AgloGold Ashanti to rethink its position.

The National Union for Mineworkers’s Livhuwani Mammburu says, “One mineworker supports close to 10 family members, imagine 8,500 and how many family members and relatives are going to be affected.”

Venkatakrishnan says it's critical that the Mining Company Act to protect the long-term sustainability of the business in South Africa along with the majority of its workforce.

“Unfortunately the inevitable has happened and in gold mines, every day you are mining you bring it one day closer to eventual closure – that’s the reality, it's not a renewable resource.”