(Bloomberg) — Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. is facing some tough choices as the South African miner works to stem losses at aging shafts amid slumping prices for the metal.
The world’s second-largest producer has already cut 2,500 jobs in the year through June and says there may be more to come. Only three of the 10 shafts at its sprawling Rustenburg mining complex were making money as of March. Things have only gotten worse since then, with platinum prices dropping another 9 percent and hitting a nine-year low last week.
Implats, as the company is known, will announce the results of a strategic review of Rustenburg in September, said spokesman Johan Theron. The challenges facing the industry mean the miner can’t discount the possibility of more job losses, he said. The company employs about 31,000 people at its Rustenburg operations.
The company said in March that the strategic review, announced last year, would look at measures to “refocus or close unprofitable areas” and could lead to shafts being closed earlier than planned.
It will be difficult for Implats to avoid cutting its production if prices stay low, said Rene Hochreiter, an analyst at Noah Capital Markets Ltd.
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