Precious metals mining company Sibanye-Stillwater has concluded consultations regarding the restructuring of its gold operations and regional services functions in South Africa.

The move has impacted more than 2,000 workers.

Held under the terms of Section 189A (S189) of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 (LRA), the consultations involved relevant stakeholders, organised labour, and other representatives of affected non-unionised employees.

Initially, as per the announcement on 11 April 2024, the S189 process affected 3,107 employees and 915 contractors.

Following constructive consultations with impacted stakeholders, it has been agreed that the mining operations at the Beatrix 1 shaft will continue.

This is subject to the condition that there are no net losses on an average trailing three-month basis from 1 June 2024.

Currently, the Beatrix 1 shaft engages 422 employees and 100 contractors.

Sibanye-Stillwater said that 629 employees chose voluntary separation packages (VSP) or early retirement packages.

Besides, 448 employees accepted transfers while natural attrition affected 116 employees during the period.

The precious metals mining company also said that 111 employees could not be accommodated through the agreed avoidance measures and were retrenched with further 1,130 contractor employees impacted.

To streamline the company’s operations in South Africa, Sibanye-Stillwater plans to consolidate its South African gold and platinum group metal (PGM) operations into a single regional operational structure.

The total number of employees and contractors in the company’s South Africa region has been reduced from around 81,500 at the end of 2022 to 70,000 since 1 January 2023.

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.

“It is extremely encouraging that the restructuring efforts undertaken in the SA region have not only successfully and proactively addressed lossmaking operations thereby securing the benefits and value they continue to bring to multiple stakeholders, but through cooperative consultation with stakeholders, limited forced retrenchments to just 8% of total employees impacted since January 2023.”

In February this year, Sibanye-Stillwater cut 2,600 jobs across its South African PGM operations.