I’m not considering resigning, says Gold Fields CEO

Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe has said Gold Fields’ plans to slash jobs is taking the ‘easy way out’ and avoids tackling the real issue of poor management.

FILE: Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gold Fields Ltd Chief Executive Nick Holland said on Thursday he was not considering resigning after Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe blamed “poor management” for planned job cuts at its South Deep mine.

Mantashe said Gold Fields’ plans to slash jobs at South Deep to reduce costs is taking the “easy way out” and avoids tackling the real issue of poor management.

Asked if he planned to step down, Holland told Reuters: “No”.

Gold Fields, which is due to report half-year results later,- said this week it would cut 1,100 permanent jobs at its South Deep mine, sending its shares plummeting.

South Deep, the company’s last South African asset, has faced operational obstacles in a tough geological setting 3km below the surface and has lost R4 billion over the past five years.

In response, Gold Fields said on Thursday it would make further comments on the restructuring plan during its interim results presentation.

Holland said on Wednesday the job cuts were a “last-gasp measure”.

Unemployment in Africa’s most industrialised economy stands at more than 27% and job cuts are a hot political issue ahead of national elections next year.

Gold Fields, which unveiled a plan in February 2017 to make its mechanised South Deep mine profitable, is the latest firm planning to cut jobs in the mining industry.