Petra Diamonds to lay off SA workers as part of cost-cutting measures

Business Report writes that Diamond miner Petra Diamonds has issued retrenchment notices to employees at its South African operations as it intensifies cost-cutting measures while forging ahead with the disposal of its stake in the Koffiefontein diamond mine. Retrenchments and lay-offs have been prevalent in the South African mining industry in the past few months as world prices for commodities such as platinum and diamonds remain suppressed. Petra’s announcement yesterday that it had served notices of retrenchment to its employees indicates that the South African platinum sector jobs bloodbath is now extending into the diamond mining sector.

“The company’s group structure is being realigned to meet the requirements of the operations,” the company said in a statement. “Regrettably, as a result of this group restructure, S189(3) notices (proposed retrenchments) under the South African Labour Regulations Act (LRA) have been issued to all group employees to commence consultations around affected roles.” It has also issued notices under the LRA to affected employees while consultations with organised labour have commenced.

At the Cullinan mine, Petra Diamonds’ cost-cutting initiatives had been kick-started, although the company was still working on currently planned throughput tonnages. In addition to cost savings and retrenchments from its South African mines, Petra Diamonds was also pursuing the disposal of its interest in the Koffiefontein mine which it announced in December last year. Petra Diamonds yesterday said that it had now entered into a definitive transaction agreement with affiliates of the Stargems diamond group (Stargems) for the disposal of its stake in the South African diamond mine.

by Tawanda Karombo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *