Anglo American has started the restructuring that the miner says it needs to see it through the commodities rout, outlining plans for almost 4,000 job cuts in its South African iron ore unit.
Plans to limit operations at the Sishen mine highlight the way in which the collapse of iron ore prices has hit higher cost producers after a wave of new production in Brazil and Australia.
Kumba Iron Ore, the separately listed South African company majority owned by Anglo, said it was consulting unions over shedding 2,633 jobs from its workforce at Sishen as well as about 1,300 contractors.
Anglo told investors in December it was aiming to shut or sell about half of its mines, with many of its assets making losses after more than three years of a commodities downturn, which accelerated last year.
Sishen is vulnerable because parts of the mine require a lot of waste material to be stripped away to access the iron ore, adding to operating costs. Under a revised plan, output is set to be curtailed to try to cut costs.
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