Johannesburg - Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] (Amplats) CEO Chris Griffith
responded to comments made by Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu on
Wednesday, saying that despite the fact that there was a public process, JSE regulations on
sensitive information prevented a totally transparent discussion with all
Shabangu questioned the miner's decision to "leave government
out" of its announcement that it may retrench some 14 000 jobs.
She also called Griffith "arrogant" following an
announcement that Amplats planned to close four shafts in the Rustenburg area
and sell its Union mine.
In an interview with Moneyweb, Griffith said he
would not be drawn into a public spat with the minister.
“Clearly the minister is unhappy about a number of things,
and I'm going to need to go back to the minister and sit down with her and work
through the concerns that she may have.”
Griffith told the publication that due to the regulations
regarding sensitive information, the company could not discuss its plans openly
with all stakeholders.
“I think we would argue that, given the narrow range that we
have to consult, whilst we are developing our plans before it becomes public we
were not in a position to talk about some of our future plans with every
person. Even the nature of the conversation with government we’ve got to be
“We have continuously
engaged with all stakeholders, including different levels of government,”
Griffith said in the report.
Anglo American announced at the beginning of 2012 that that
it would review platinum operations.
“So this is likely to be a difficult period. I don’t think
anyone expected either government or unions or ourselves or civil society to
say it's a good idea that we have retrenchments.
"But the fact is that if we don’t do something about
the company, eventually 60 000 people in the company will have no employment. We
seek to work with our stakeholders.
"If some of our stakeholders are feeling
uncomfortable about that, we need to sit down with them and work through that.
And if there are difficulties we need to patch those up,” he said.
Meanwhile, shocked Amplats workers refused to go underground
The ANC also responded with anger, calling the miner’s
decision "cynical and dangerous in the extreme".
Amplats’ share price fell 6.30% on Wednesday, while parent
company Anglo American’s price was down 1.43% on the JSE.