Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] said on Thursday that it was working to mitigate the risk of thousands of job losses during its restructuring programme.
Implats said it was "fully committed" to minimising the potential impact of the strategic restructuring process at Impala Rustenburg on jobs, as well as the spillover effect that potential job losses would have on the communities near the Rustenburg mining operations.
The company said it had little choice but to consider its restructuring process, which involves scaling down on loss-making operations and divisions, if the company was to generate sufficient cash by the 2021 financial year.
Among other things, the company hopes to reduce the operating cost from R25 100 per platinum ounce in 2017 to less than R22 000 per platinum ounce by the 2021 financial year.
"The only option for conventional producers is to fundamentally restructure loss-making operations to address cash burn and create lower-cost profitable businesses that can sustain operations and secure employment as far as possible," the company said.
It added that the restructuring process would potentially have an impact on 9 000 direct jobs and 4 000 contractor positions over the implementation period.
"While labour rationalisation is inevitable in a restructuring process of this nature, due care will be taken to ensure that forced job losses are minimised as far as possible through a range of job loss avoidance measures," the report said.
The report from Impala Rustenburg said it would implement necessary changes through consultation "where job losses are unavoidable".
"Discussions are already underway with key stakeholders, including government, relevant trade unions and community representatives with regard to this difficult transition to secure the future viability of the operation and preserve jobs as far as possible," Implats said.
The company said transforming the Impala Rustenburg operation would result in a cash-generating business by financial year 2021 and secure up to 27 000 jobs for the long term.