By Anthony O. Goriainoff
Sibanye-Stillwater is considering a restructuring of its gold operations in South Africa given ongoing losses and operational constraints, a move that could affect almost 3,000 workers.
The Johannesburg-listed precious-metals miner said Thursday that it plans to start talks with organized labor and other affected stakeholders over the move that could affect 2,389 employees and 581 contract workers at the Kloof 4 mine shaft. In total the Kloof mine--which consists of four shafts--employs a total of 10,444 employees and contractors.
It said that the decision follows several unsuccessful attempts to address productivity issues and other operational constraints at the location. These included seismicity and cooling constraints which have lead to sustained losses despite recent high gold prices.
Sibanye-Stillwater said these issues, together with recent infrastructure damage at the project, have resulted in a severe deterioration in productivity and jeopardized the shaft's financial viability.
"We will engage with all relevant stakeholders in an effort to avoid job losses while attempting to limit the impact on the remainder of the operations and employees at the SA gold operations," Executive Vice President Richard Cox said.
The Kloof 4 shaft produces an average of about 9,650 ounces of gold a month or 115,743 ounces annually, and accounts for 14% of annual production from the SA gold operations, excluding DRDGOLD, in which the company holds a stake.
Shares at 1001 GMT were up 84 South African cents, or 3.05%, at 28.37 South African Rand ($1.51).
Write to Anthony O. Goriainoff at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires