Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) subsidiary Rustenburg Platinum Mines (RPM) is set to layoff up to 420 managerial and supervisory jobs as it proposes to consolidate mining operations over weak market conditions.

The company has issued a Section 189 (3) notice to relevant parties in terms of Section 189A of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 to begin a consultation process on the proposed redesign plan.

As part of its plans, RPM will redesign its organisational support structure, which considers the financial difficulties in the PGM industry.

The consolidation aims at aligning the support structure with the proposed reconfiguring of operations to improve the company’s financial sustainability.

The reconfiguration will see the consolidation of mines with adjacent concentrator operations.

Tumela Mine, Dishaba Mine and Amandelbult Concentrator will be consolidated and redesigned into the Amandelbult operation.

In addition, the Mogalakwena Mine and Mogalakwena Concentrator would be merged with the Mogalakwena operation.

“The reconfiguration will see the consolidation of mines with adjacent concentrator operations.”

RPM also plans to close the regional functional centres in Rustenburg, Amandelbult and Polokwane and incorporate their functions into the adjacent operations and corporate office.

The consultation process is expected to complete on 22 August.

Amplats’ Rustenburg and Union Mine operations are excluded from the proposed restructuring and are earmarked for disposal.

Employees assigned to these operations are protected from the Section 189 process.

The company also plans to substantially reduce indirect costs that are allocated to operations.

Image: Amplats’s Dishaba Mine in South Africa. Photo: courtesy of Anglo American.