Johannesburg - Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS] said on Friday it
was in discussions with the government over planned sweeping changes to its
business, including 14 000 jobs cuts.
Amplats, the world's biggest producer of platinum, announced
the plans to close shafts and cut jobs on Tuesday. Mineral Resources Minister
Susan Shabangu responded by accusing the company of betraying the government's
"Amplats and the department of mineral resources have
agreed to engage positively during the next 90 days to discuss the business
review proposals and to determine how they can best work together to achieve
their shared objective for the benefit of all stakeholders," the company
said in a statement.
The company plans to mothball four shafts and sell one of
its mines as it struggles to secure its future after several difficult years of
a falling platinum price in an over-supplied market.
South Africa is home to 80% of the world's platinum deposits
but producers have been squeezed by rising input costs that are three times
inflation, declining prices, safety stoppages and violent labour strife.
The company's plan to cut jobs risked provoking a repeat of
the violent strikes in the gold and platinum sectors last year that left more
than 50 people dead and slowed economic growth.
A full-blown strike across the company's operations was
averted after angered workers returned to work just a day after an illegal
Amplats said a labour consultation process and industry-wide
discussions related to the challenges facing the South African mining industry
would run parallel to talks with the mines department.
Shares of Amplats were almost 3% higher by late morning
after falling more than 6% since the announcement.
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