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Gold Fields' CEO says South Deep lay-offs "last-gasp measure"
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Gold Fields' plan to
potentially cut up to almost 1,600 jobs at its struggling South
Deep mine in South Africa is a "last-gasp measure", Chief
Executive Nick Holland said on Wednesday.
The company made the announcement on Tuesday, citing
mounting losses and a "consistent failure to meet mining and
production targets" among the reasons for the move that could
see a third of its labour force trimmed.
"The choice is between this and serious risk to the future
of South Deep and its many shareholders," Holland wrote in an
article for the Business Day newspaper.
"In the past 12 years, shareholders have received no return
at all on their initial investment of 22 billion rand, having
seen only an outflow of funds," Holland said of South Deep.
The mine west of Johannesburg employs around 3,600 full-time
workers and 1,900 contractors. In Tuesday's announcement, the
company said 1,100 permanent employees and 460 contractors could
"potentially be impacted by the proposed restructuring".
South Deep is Gold Fields' last South African asset and has
been beset by problems as the company has tried to mechanise the
operation in the face of challenging geology 3 kms (2 miles)
below the surface.
(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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