Sibanye cuts 2,600 jobs at South African platinum mines

Sibanye Stillwater said it had cut about 2,600 jobs at its South African platinum mines after discussions with labour unions over restructuring unprofitable operations.

Sibanye said earlier in the week that it expects to report a loss for last year after slumping platinum-group metals and operational problems across its businesses forced the firm to take impairments of R47.5 billion ($2.5 billion). 

In South Africa, Sibanye will close a platinum shaft that ceased production in 2023, lower production at two others and may shutter a fourth if it makes monthly losses.

The consultation process, which started in October, “achieved the necessary requirement of addressing loss-making operations and ensuring the sustainability of our SA PGM operations,” CEO Neal Froneman said in a statement Friday.

Almost 1,300 employees accepted voluntary separation or early retirement packages, while 467 people left since September due to “natural attrition,” the Johannesburg-based firm said.

The jobs of another 47 employees and 805 contractors were cut. 

The company has already cut nearly 1,500 jobs at its gold operations in South Africa and is reducing the workforce at its high-cost Stillwater palladium mine in the US.

Sibanye’s South African peers – Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum Holdings – reported a sharp drop in profits last year.