Gold sector loses its lustre
Jobs bloodbath for gold miners
Could this signal the start of a trend of retrenchments in the industry?
AngloGold Ashanti’s plan to restructure its ageing TauTona and Kopanang mines, with the loss of up to 8,500 jobs, is only one sign of looming job losses in the SA gold industry. In the past 12 years employment in the gold industry has fallen 35% from 179,964 people to 116,479 while it has risen in almost every other locally mined commodity except copper and diamonds. Coronation Fund Managers gold analyst Nic Stein says there is no doubt other gold mines will close in the near future. Others with short lives include Harmony’s Bambanani and Kusasalethu, each with about five years left, its Masimong mine, with three years, and Sibanye Gold’s Cooke mine. AngloGold’s announcement follows a year of weak rand gold prices and the recent gazetting of a new mining charter by mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane that will entail significantly higher costs for mining companies. AngloGold CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said in a statement the restructuring of the cost base follows a period...