Sibanye completes Marikana restructuring, cuts 1 142 jobs

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Mining Group Sibanye-Stillwater [JSE: SGL] said on Thursday that it had completed the restructuring of its Marikana operations, in a process that saw 1 142 workers lose their jobs. 

The company had announced in September that 5 270 jobs were at risk at the loss-making Marikana platinum mine it acquired from Lonmin in 2019.

Several measures were adopted to reduce the number of job losses, with 166 employees transferred to other operations. About 1 612 were granted voluntary separation packages and another 53 opted to retire.

"Approximately 1 142 employees were ultimately retrenched and contractors were reduced by 1 709," the company said in a statement.

Sibanye-Stillwater took control of the Marikana platinum mine as part of its acquisition of Lonmin, which was completed in June.

"We are pleased with the outcome of the consultations with stakeholders, which despite the necessary closure of some end of life shafts, resulted in the preservation of a number of jobs," said Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman.

Froneman said the headcount reduction would lead to a "more sustainable business which will secure employment for the majority of the Marikana workforce for a much longer period."

The company said its Shaft 1B and a sweeping and vamping project would continue with limited operations until the end of December 2020. The decision to keep operations going for the period resulted in the preservation of 329 jobs, provided that the projects continue to be profitable on a three-month average period.

The country's depressed mining sector which operates some of world's oldest mines has been shedding jobs in recent years, as the economy battles to attract growth, with the unemployment rate currently at 29.1%.

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