Impala Platinum Holdings Limited, a South African holding company that owns several companies, has started offering voluntary job cuts to its workers at some of the world’s deepest platinum mining shafts in the country.
Impala Platinum started the process of job cuts at its head office last month. The company was also offering exit packages to employees at its Rustenburg mining complex in North West province.
Why did Impala Platinum start job cuts?
Impala Platinum started the job cuts in a bid to reduce costs as prices for the metal fall. The Johannesburg-based platinum miner said it wanted to do everything to reduce costs.
The company spokesperson Johan Theron told Reuters, “We are obviously doing everything to reduce costs. Labour is a big cost component, so you always start with labour by offering voluntary separation packages.”
An ongoing decline in the metal’s prices forced the company to take the decision. The decision was taken as part of a company-wide restructuring to position operations for good performance.
Last month, Impala rival Sibanye Stillwater announced plans to cut over 4,000 jobs and close some of its old platinum mining shafts in the country. Johannesburg-listed mining firm Sibanye-Stillwater took the decision to cut jobs because Platinum prices fell down by 14% so far this year.
Prices for the main PGMs — platinum and palladium — have dropped 14% and 38%, respectively, so far this year. Reportedly, palladium prices reached about $1,110 an ounce last week and platinum close to $920.
What can employees expect?
Impala Platinum (Implats), which completed the acquisition of Royal Bafokeng Platinum three months ago, said that employees would receive two weeks’ pay for every year of service completed.
The company also announced plans to cut capital expenditure for some of its projects, including its Zimplats operation in Zimbabwe.
Moses Motlhageng, the CEO for Implats’ Rustenburg operations, said that declining PGM prices forced the company to make some workforce adjustments.