South Africa mining firm AngloGold Ashanti may cut around 900 jobs in order to reduce costs.
Lower gold prices, rising costs and increased taxes have been cited by the company as the reason for reducing its workforce.
According to a source from the worker union, the downsize could affect 1,200 jobs out of the 32,000 employees in the country, Reuters reported.
AngloGold is considering reassigning 300 of its staffs to other positions; however, the remaining 900 are facing redundancy.
Reuters quoted AngloGold spokesman Chris Nthite as saying: "We have offered voluntary severance packages to staff, which is part of our self-help measures we announced at our quarterly results to further reduce costs and enhance efficiency."
Details of the decision have not been provided by the company.
Job cuts are being carried out by AngloGold unders the company's 'self-help' policy for reducing operating costs, which follows the declaration of its third quarter earnings earlier this month.
AngloGold had stated in an internal memo that all employees may apply for severance packages. The firm is likely to lay-off employees from over-staffed units and to give preference to those aged above 55 years.
Image: Underground mine operations at Great Noligwa. Photo: courtesy of AngloGold Ashanti.