Home » Gold mine revamp led by South African tycoon Neal Froneman puts 2,970 jobs at risk

Gold mine revamp led by South African tycoon Neal Froneman puts 2,970 jobs at risk

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Neal Froneman

Sibanye-Stillwater, the South African multinational precious metal mining company under the leadership of leading businessman Neal Froneman, has announced a significant restructuring plan for one of its gold mines, potentially affecting the livelihoods of 2,970 workers.

The announcement came in a statement issued on Thursday, where the company cited ongoing losses and operational challenges at the Kloof 4 shaft as the driving factors behind the impending restructuring.

Sibanye-Stillwater confirmed its intention to engage in discussions with labor unions concerning the potential restructuring of its South African gold operations. This could have implications, with 2,389 employees and 581 contractor employees at the Kloof 4 shaft alone at risk.

The company stressed the rationale behind this decision, highlighting persistent operational issues faced at the Kloof 4 shaft. These challenges encompass productivity problems and various operational constraints, including concerns related to seismic activity and cooling constraints within the chilled water reticulation circuit.

Cumulatively, these challenges have led to a significant decline in productivity and cast doubt on the financial viability of the Kloof 4 shaft, resulting in sustained losses for the company, even during periods of high gold prices.

Given these difficulties, Sibanye-Stillwater felt compelled to consider a restructuring plan that could have far-reaching consequences for its workforce.

While the South African mining industry has been a major source of employment for thousands, restructuring efforts of this magnitude are expected to generate concern within the labour force and the communities dependent on these jobs.

Sibanye-Stillwater is a multinational precious metal mining company with operations in South Africa. It is involved in gold and base metal mining and projects in South Africa and the Americas.

Froneman, who has played a key role in driving Sibanye-Stillwater’s transformation into one of the world’s leading primary producers of platinum, palladium, and gold, currently holds a 0.3-percent stake, equivalent to 8,382,849 ordinary shares, in the precious metal mining group.

As discussions between the company and labor unions unfold, the fate of these workers remains uncertain. Stakeholders, including employees, investors, and local communities, will closely monitor developments in this ongoing situation.

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