Sibanye-Stillwater, a precious metals miner, has finalised the restructuring of its gold operations and regional services in South Africa, impacting more than 2,000 workers.

The process, governed by Section 189A of the Labour Relations Act, involved extensive consultations with unions and non-unionised employees.

Initially, the restructuring threatened 3,107 employees and 915 contractors.

After discussions with impacted stakeholders, it has been agreed that the Beatrix 1 Shaft will remain operational, provided it does not incur net losses on an average trailing three-month basis starting from 1 June 2024.

However, if profitability cannot be maintained, and subject to specific conditions, the shaft faces potential closure, the company said.

Currently, the Beatrix 1 Shaft employs 422 individuals and 100 contractors.

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Voluntary separation and early retirement packages were accepted by 629 employees, while natural attrition trimmed the headcount by 116.

Transfers were arranged for 448 employees, but 111 could not be accommodated and were retrenched, alongside 1,130 contractors.

To optimise operations and sustain profitability, the company also plans to consolidate gold and PGM operations into a single structure, supported by streamlined services, to improve operational focus and innovation.

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said: “We have restructured the SA region to align with the reduced operating footprint following the necessary operational restructuring for greater regional sustainability and profitability and we are well positioned for ongoing shared value delivery.”

Since January 2023, the closure of Sibanye’s end-of-life shafts and plants, alongside the restructuring of loss-making shafts, has led to workforce reduction from approximately 81,500 to just over 70,000.

In April 2024, Sibanye-Stillwater announced the impending closure of its 4 Belt shaft at the Marikana platinum operations.