Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 07 May 2010 – The De Beers Group “’ the world’s biggest diamond producer “’ has revealed that it could cut around 40% of the workforce at one of its South African mines due to weak prices for the gems and the stronger rand
De Beers “’ which is 45% owned by Anglo American Plc “’ said in a statement here that it could cut around 350 of 870 jobs at Finsch mine, which is being restructured. It added that it could lose about R200 million a year unless there were changes.
The diamond miner went on to say that high operational costs were also to blame.
“We are entering into a consultation period with employees. We are looking at turning the mine to profitability,” De Beers’ spokesman Tom Tweedy said. He told Reuters the company hoped to trim jobs and turn the mine around.
Solidarity union spokesman Jaco Kleynhans confirmed that De Beers had served notice of the redundancies.
“Solidarity maintains that De Beers will have to provide critical answers, because the revival in the diamond industry makes it seem that the retrenchments at the company are unnecessary,” Solidarity said in a statement.
De Beers employs 2 500 workers at six mines in South Africa.