South Africa’s Sibanye Gold has confirmed that it has laid off about 2,000 people from its workforce in the gold mining division of the group.
Sibanye said in a statement that it carried out the restructuring of its gold operations and associated services pursuant to ongoing losses experienced at its Cooke and Beatrix West operations.
Part of the outcome of the restructuring includes:
- Through the adoption of productivity enhancement and cost containment measures determined in consultation with stakeholders, Beatrix West will remain in operation for as long as it makes a profit, on average, over any continuous period of 3 months, after accounting for all-in sustaining costs.
- Through these arrangements, Beatrix West will continue to provide employment for approximately 1,640 people. In the event that Beatrix West becomes loss making, both the underground operation and Beatrix 2 Plant will be put on care and maintenance with immediate effect.
- Unfortunately it was not possible to define realistic arrangements to operate Cooke 1,2 and 3 on a profitable basis. The underground mining operations at the Cooke 1, 2 and 3 shafts will therefore be placed on care and maintenance with effect from end October 2017.
- The Cooke surface processing plant will continue to operate for as long as there is sufficient feed material for it to be profitable, subject to various cost cutting measures being implemented. Through these arrangements, 132 employees will be retained at these operations.
- Through the S189 consultation process, Sibanye-Stillwater and its stakeholders have secure jobs for an additional 1,510 employees through transfers to available positions within the Group and as care and maintenance personnel for the Cooke underground operations. Approximately 2,025 employees will be retrenched with an additional 1,350 having already elected to take voluntary separation packages.
- An additional 620 employees will replace contractors involved in non-critical activities across the Group. In total 3,601 contractors have been displaced.
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO, Neal Froneman commented: “The decision to restructure was not taken lightly, but it is pleasing to note that we have managed to ameliorate job losses through the consultation process.
He added that “We preserved employment for 3,282 people, while ensuring the sustainability of our remaining operations and thereby securing over 60,000 jobs in South Africa.”