South African precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater has reduced the number of job cuts at its Marikana mine operations in Rustenburg, following the conclusion of a consultation process.

The move comes as the company restructures the troubled Marikana operation.

The company concluded that 1,142 employees had been dismissed under the Section 189 process regarding the Marikana operation, which it acquired as part of a merger with platinum group metals (PGMs) miner Lonmin in June 2019.

Last September, Sibanye-Stillwater announced plans to start consultations with stakeholders regarding the restructuring of its Marikana operations, associated services, and the planned reduction of 5,270 jobs.

The outcome of the consultation process saw approximately 1,612 employees granted voluntary separation packages and another 1,142 fired.

It also reduced the number of contractors by around 1,709, a total of 53 workers being preceded on normal retirement terms and natural attrition accounted for 259 jobs.

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As part of the strategic consultation review, Sibanye-Stillwater also noted that it would keep operating one shaft (Shaft 1B), which was at risk of closure, preserving 329 jobs.

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said: “We are pleased with the outcome of the consultations with stakeholders, which, despite the necessary closure of some end of life shafts, resulted in the preservation of a number of jobs.

“This will result in a more sustainable business, which will secure employment for the majority of the Marikana workforce for a much longer period.”

According to Reuters, acquiring Lonmin in 2017 was the only way to save the company’s 29,000 employees.

Last June, Sibanye-Stillwater reduced the number of jobs cuts to 3,450, following the proposed restructuring of its South African gold mining operations.