Sibanye Gold Ltd., South Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal, was criticized by the country’s ruling party for planning to cut 3,000 jobs at its fire-stricken Beatrix West operation.
Sibanye announced the job losses yesterday after a blaze broke out on Feb. 19 at the mine in the central Free State province. The Westonaria-based company said it’s lost 61 kilograms (134 pounds) of gold every month, or about 28 million rand ($3 million) in revenue.
“You don’t penalize victims for a fire,” Gwede Mantashe, secretary general of the ruling African National Congress, said in an interview on Johannesburg-based state-owned SAfm radio. “Safety is the responsibility of management.”
Sibanye was spun off from Gold Fields Ltd. last month and comprises the Kloof-Driefontein complex, Africa’s largest gold operation, and the Beatrix mines. Mines Minister Susan Shabangu on Jan. 15 said she had the power to fine mining companies after Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of the metal, announced plans to idle four shafts, cut output by 400,000 ounces and fire as many as 14,000 workers.
The shares fell as much as 4.1 percent, the most since March 22, and traded 1.7 percent lower at 13 rand as of 12:25 p.m. in Johannesburg.