Amplats Extends Restructuring Talks With South Africa by 30 Days

Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the biggest producer of the metal, said it will extend talks with South Africa’s Department of Minerals Resources over restructuring plans to cut as many as 14,000 jobs.

“Anglo American Platinum and the DMR have now agreed to extend the bilateral consultation process for a further 30 days to allow sufficient time for the conclusion of the process, and anticipate that the process will conclude by the end of April 2013,” the Johannesburg-based company controlled by Anglo American Plc said in a statement today.

The company, known as Amplats, in January put proposals to idle four shafts and cut jobs on hold for 60 days for talks after the government criticized its handling of the matter and threatened to revoke some mining licenses. Producers in South Africa are struggling with higher costs as strikes led to above-inflation wage gains, while demand wanes. Amplats would have cut 400,000 ounces of platinum production annually, or 7 percent of global output, to help return to profitability.

“We have made progress and have had constructive discussions with our stakeholders,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith said in the statement. “However, the volume of information and data has necessitated the proposed extension.”