Labour unions have come out strongly against Lonmin over claims made by the company that it agreed with the unions regarding retrenchments.
Lonmin, the world's largest platinum producer, said yesterday: "Following extensive stakeholder consultation processes at each operation, Lonmin has reached agreements with the recognised unions regarding the retrenchment of a number of employees at its Marikana and Limpopo operations.
"The agreement at Marikana allows for a reduction of up to 4000 full time employees or contractors, 300 of which are expected to be management personnel.
"Following agreement at Limpopo, the Baobab shaft will be placed on care and maintenance, with around 1500 full time employees expected to be retrenched."
But National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM) spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said there was no such agreement.
"Its plain lies. The NUM will never agree with any company over retrenchments," he said.
According to Seshoka, what was agreed on was the framework for voluntary severance packages to be communicated with workers, and not retrenchments.
Lonmin defended its statement yesterday.
Mahomed Seedat, the company's chief operations officer said he was certain there was a signed agreement.
He said: "We have signed two agreements with the NUM, Uasa and Solidarity, and they include a framework agreement on restructuring. We're going to live by the signed agreement."