Underground mining “’
now AngloGold plans
to mine 4km below
Johannesburg, South Africa — 14 May 2013 –  In another blow to the South African mining industry, AngloGold Ashanti “’ the world’s third-largest bullion producer “’ is set to also shed jobs as it prepares to roll out its mechanisation programme.

Citing an SABC news item, Fin24 reports that the programme would entail using state of the art machines instead of traditional labour.

Analyst Ian Cruickshanks told the broadcaster that the process could result in possible job losses. “It’s an inevitability, I’m afraid," he said.

He added that AngloGold intended mining more than 4km underground and would have to face huge temperatures. “It’s just not possible for manual labour to go and spend 8 hours picking at a rock-face in those sort of conditions”, Cruickshanks said.

AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said that the programme was yielding good results and would be rolled out across at least two of the key South African mines.

Earlier this week, the miner reported a near six-fold rise in first-quarter earnings as operations recovered from a wave of illegal strikes late last year.

Production rose to 899 000oz from 859 000oz in the previous quarter.

“The stronger performance relative to the previous quarter reflects the recovery from the strike action at the South Africa operations which hampered production towards the end of last year,” the company said in a statement.

On Friday, Anglo Platinum (Amplats) announced that it would cut 6,000 jobs, less than half the 14,000 initially proposed. The company said it would aim to produce 2.2 to 2.4Mozpa, up from the 2.1 to 2.3Mozpa targeted in the original plan.

The revisions should deliver R3.8 billion (US$423 million) in savings by 2015.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.