Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), a majority owned subsidiary of UK-based Anglo American, has completed a commercial business and structural review to enhance profitability and performance at its South Africa operations.

“We have designed a comprehensive social plan to ensure a difference in labor-sending areas, creating the same number of jobs as affected in the restructuring,” said outgoing Anglo American CEO and Anglo American Chair Cynthia Carroll.
The plan, according to Carroll, involves improving work conditions for 45,000 employees, while reconfiguring its Rustenburg operations into three mines, with aligned processing operations, as a 320,000–350,000 oz producer. The company will also divest union declines and shafts, meanwhile, to increase value under different ownership.

The moves will generate 14,000 new jobs to offset potential losses from a restructuring to include the shutdown of a smelter and concentrator. The company seeks $490 million of annual benefits by 2015, including yearly savings of $43 million. Amplats will further provide employee compensation from Rustenburg and other regions where its workers reside.

The review was driven by falling profits stemming from slowing capital investment, limited mine depths, ore grades and higher-than-inflation operating costs in recent years. A heightened global supply of secondary platinum was another factor cited by the company.

Anglo American is one of the world’s largest mining companies, with a portfolio of iron ore, manganese, metallurgical coal and thermal coal as well as copper, nickel, platinum in addition to precious metals and minerals. Its operations and exploration span southern Africa, South America, Australia, North America, Asia and Europe.