Impala Platinum to close 5 mines in major restructuring

Impala Platinum is the latest mining company to announce a major restructuring.
Impala Platinum is the latest mining company to announce a major restructuring.
Image: 123RF/ fesenko

Impala Platinum‚ the world’s second-largest platinum miner‚ is cutting its future production to 520 000oz of platinum and slashing the number of its mines to six from 11‚ with 13‚000 jobs to go within two years.

Implats is the latest mining company to announce a major restructuring‚ shaft closures and job cuts to cope with a high-cost environment‚ and‚ in the platinum sector‚ a largely stagnant price for its primary metal‚ platinum.

“In a phased approach‚ operations will therefore cease at Impala Rustenburg’s end‐of‐life and uneconomic shafts‚ with future mining activity focused on profitable‚ lower-cost‚ high‐value‚ and longer‐life assets‚” the company said.

The restructuring will cost R2.7-billion during 2019 and 2020‚ and will be funded from internal cash resources as well as selling inventories.

Implats now employs 40‚000 people to produce 750 000oz of platinum a year.

Implats has already started the restructuring process and reduced its workforce from 42 300 in 2017. At 520 000oz it will fall below equally troubled Lonmin‚ which produces about 650 000oz of platinum a year.

Implats could consider selling some of the shafts it is planning to close‚ said CEO Nico Muller.

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