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Amplats CEO Says Restructuring Talks Difficult for All Sides

April 26 (Bloomberg) -- Anglo American Platinum Ltd.’s talks with South Africa about a restructure that could result in as many as 14,000 job cuts are taking place in a “difficult environment,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith said.

“This is a very, very tough time for everyone, to try to make a profit in this kind of environment and then it’s a difficult time for governments to keep economies turning over and to keep people employed,” he said in an interview in Johannesburg today.

Producers in South Africa, which has the world’s largest known reserves of platinum, are struggling with higher costs after strikes led to above-inflation wage gains, while demand wanes. Amplats, as the company is known, in January said it proposed to cut 400,000 ounces of platinum production annually, or 7 percent of global output, to help return to profitability.

Amplats put the plans on hold for 60 days for talks after the government criticized its handling of the matter and threatened to revoke some mining licenses.

Griffith declined to elaborate on the status of the negotiations, which are due to end on April 30.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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