Glencore to axe 380 mining jobs as falling prices continue to bite

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Global mining firm Glencore said yesterday it will cut about 380 jobs at its Optimum Coal subsidiary in South Africa after the closure of some operations at the mine.

The Swiss-based company said in January it was planning to close some of its South African coal mines and laying off workers due to falling prices.

The planned closure of Optimum Coal mines had initially put more than 1,000 jobs at risk, but the number was earlier this month reduced to between 600 and 700 jobs.

“Through various engagements and company initiatives the impact has been significantly mitigated.

“Optimum is now proceeding with the closure of these operations which will result in the retrenchment of approximately 380 employees,” Glencore said in a statement.

About 250 employees had opted for voluntary severance packages and 96 were redeployed to other operations, it said.

South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers said earlier this month it was considering taking legal action to prevent the job cuts. The union had also accused Glencore of targeting female employees for retrenchments but the company on Wednesday dismissed the allegations as “baseless”.