Implats’ Zimbabwe unit plans voluntary job cuts to contain costs

Implats half-year profit surges, hikes dividend
Impala Platinum’s Rustenburg operations. Image courtesy of Implats Distinctly Platinum

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.’s Zimbabwean unit is offering staff voluntary redundancy packages to cut costs because of anemic metal prices.

Weak platinum group metal prices are projected to last for the next 12 to 18 months, Zimplats Holdings Ltd. chief executive officer Alex Mhembere said in a staff circular dated March 18 that was confirmed by the company. The producer is beginning “a voluntary retrenchment exercise for all employees wishing to be considered,” which may “mitigate the need for a compulsory retrenchment,” the circular said.

Impala, known as Implats, and its PGM mining peers have already cut thousands of jobs in neighboring South Africa – which accounts for about 70% of global platinum output. The four largest producers have all recently released sobering earnings reports, with profits battered by a sharp slump in metals prices since the start of last year.

Employees at Zimplats – Zimbabwe’s biggest producer of PGMs – are being offered a minimum of three months’ pay and must submit their application forms by March 22, according to the circular.

“We have been working with all teams across the board in implementing various cost containment and cash preservation programs,” Mhembere said. “I am confident that as a team we will successfully navigate through the headwinds.”

(By Godfrey Marawanyika)


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