Platinum miner Lonmin to cut over 1,000 jobs in SA – union

London-listed Lonmin, whose mines are all in South Africa, is also battling a strengthening South African currency and numerous operational issues.

The Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana. Picture: AFP.

LONDON – Platinum miner Lonmin plans to cut over 1,000 jobs before Christmas, South Africa’s Solidarity union said on Monday, due to persistently low commodity prices and rising costs.

“Because of these cost pressures, Lonmin has decided to place a number of its marginal shafts under care and maintenance and that is the reason why the 1,139 workers will be affected,” Solidarity, which represents mainly skilled workers, said.

Spokesperson Wendy Tlou says the 446 job cuts is what is anticipated at the moment while the company tries to preserve its remaining staff.

“We want to protect the employment of majority of our workforce, we want to improve efficiency, we want to streamline the business, we want to optimise cash regeneration and position the company to take advantage of any future improvement in the platinum industry.”

Tlou says part of saving costs the company will also be selling off some of its assets and cutting overhead costs by R500 million by September next year.

“We’re still at the very beginning of our consultation. So our first meeting, for instance, with the unions is going to be on Wednesday. But all our unions have been informed.”

London-listed Lonmin, whose mines are all in South Africa, is also battling a strengthening South African currency and numerous operational issues.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)