Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11February 2009 – Gold Fields Limited – Africa’s second- largest producer of the metal – is seeking to reduce its workforce by about 10% voluntarily, according to the National Union of Mineworkers.
Union spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said here in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News that forced job cuts would be suspended until June. Gold Fields spokeswoman Marritt Claasens couldn’t comment immediately when contacted by phone and e-mail. Gold Fields has 47 000 permanent workers.
Leshoka said that the union had been told about a plan to cut one in 10 jobs at a meeting with company officials in December. On 6 February Gold Fields had agreed to suspend job cuts, he added.
Bloomberg News reports that mining companies in South Africa are shedding thousands of jobs as the global recession saps demand for commodities. Anglo Platinum Limited – the world’s largest producer of the metal – is cutting 8 000 permanent jobs and will shed a further 2 000 jobs by not replacing workers who leave. Another South African platinum producer, Lonmin Plc, is cutting about 6 000 jobs.
Meanwhile Gold Fields says it is targeting a production rate of four-million ounces a year by April at a time of rising revenue in both dollar and particularly local-currency terms, and falling costs.
Revealing this at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, CEO Nick Holland pointed out that all commodities had come down in price except gold, the price of which was continuing to rise.
“Central banks are not selling all their gold and there have been record sales of gold exchange-traded funds,” he said. “If one takes the view that the dollar will weaken, gold will keep on rising,” he added.