Sibanye-Stillwater considers over 2 000 layoffs at South Africa gold mines

Photo: Sibanye-Stillwater

Sibanye-Stillwater announces that it will enter into consultation with organised labour and other affected stakeholders, regarding the possible restructuring of its South African gold operations pursuant to ongoing losses experienced at the Beatrix 4 shaft and the impact of depleting mineral reserves to the Kloof 1 plant.

The proposed restructuring could potentially affect employees at Beatrix 4 shaft, those employees who provide support services to the shaft, and Kloof 1 and 2 plants. In addition, employees may be affected in associated companies, including Sibanye Gold Protection Services Limited and Sibanye Gold Academy Proprietary Limited.

The initiation of S189 consultations follows numerous unsuccessful attempts to address productivity and other operational issues at the Beatrix 4 shaft and the depletion of Surface Rock Dump (SRD) mineral reserves to Kloof 1 plant.

The life of the Beatrix 4 shaft was previously prolonged, following S189 consultations in 2017, which, through the successful adoption of productivity enhancement and cost containment measures implemented following consultation with stakeholders, enabled it to remain in operation as long as it made a profit, on average, over any continuous period of 3 months (after accounting for all-in sustaining costs).

The SRD mineral reserves that are treated at Kloof 1 plant are nearly depleted, and the Kloof Main SRD will be completely mined out by December 2022. As a result, Kloof 1 plant will not be able to operate at full capacity, with its only remaining primary source of ore coming from Kloof 4 SRD.

Cost reduction efforts have been ineffective in addressing the ongoing lack of profitability.

“To allow shafts and operating plants that are no longer sustainable to continue operating at a loss, will threaten the remaining life of mine of the other SA gold operations, and ultimately also the employees of the broader Group. We are committed to minimising the impact of the proposed restructuring and will constructively engage with all relevant stakeholders in an effort to avoid job losses, while attempting to limit the impact on the remainder of the operations employees and the sustainability of the Group,” said Richard Stewart, Chief Regional Officer: Southern Africa.