Sibanye Gold had reached an agreement with employees and organised labour unions to cut 213 fewer jobs than planned at its Cooke 4 operation in South Africa.

The agreement includes reducing 392 of the 2,403 jobs at the mine west of Johannesburg. The deal is said to have followed the Section 189 consultation process, facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), which began on 12 September 2014.

Sibanye Gold CEO Neal Froneman said: "I am very pleased that we have again, with the co-operation of our employees and organised labour, managed to arrive at a mutually agreeable outcome.

"The measures we agreed on have been implemented at the Cooke 4 mine and I am confident that the Cooke 4 business unit is suitably positioned to achieve the required productivity and profitability levels, which will ensure operational sustainability."

"I am very pleased that we have again, with the co-operation of our employees and organised labour, managed to arrive at a mutually agreeable outcome."

So far, the necessary workforce reduction has been achieved mainly through voluntary separation packages and voluntary early retirement.

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Sibanye Gold has filled vacancies at other group operations to minimise job losses and, where possible, filled contractor positions with affected employees from Cooke 4 mine.

An additional 213 jobs have been saved due to employees being allocated extra shifts and operations that would continue to operate over four of the statutory public holidays, as agreed.

The agreed upon measures include an alternative work cycle at the struggling mine, rationalisation of management structures at the Cooke operation, minimal use of contractors and ongoing monitoring to ensure successful implementation.

Image: Sibanye Gold’s Cooke operation. Photo: courtesy of Sibanye Gold Limited.