AngloPlatinum to Shed 10,000 Jobs

The company produces two-fifths of the world's platinum supply.

AngloPlatinum, the world's largest producer of the metal, said on Feb. 8 it would shed 10,000 jobs this year, or about 13% of its workforce, to cope with lower prices and sagging demand from automakers.

Chief executive Neville Nicolau said that 8,000 jobs would be cut in the first half of the year, with about three-fourths of the losses hitting contract workers and the rest affecting mine laborers. Another 2,000 mine workers stand to lose their jobs in the second half of the year, he said. All the losses hitting mine workers would come mainly through the annual turnover rate of about five percent in the minefields.

Last year, the company employed about 77,000 people -- including regular staff and contract workers.

The company's headline earnings were up to 13.3 billion rand (US$1.7 billion), from 12.325 billion rand last year.

AngloPlatinum, which produces about two-fifths of the world's platinum supply, said that production would remain flat this year at about 2.3 million ounces.

Nicolau said the company expected prices to stabilize this year at around $1,000 per ounce, after last year's enormous drop when prices plunged from over $2,000 to about $800 per ounce.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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