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Solidarity worried over job losses

Trade union Solidarity has expressed concern over more job losses in the platinum mining sector following the closure of the Everest mine, near Lydenburg, in Mpumalanga.

“The closure of this mine was announced barely a week after Aquarius Platinum had closed its Marikana shaft in Kroondal,” union spokesman Louis Pretorius said on Thursday.

File picture: An effort will be made to limit job losses in the platinum mining sector, the government, labour unions and mining houses announced on Wednesday. Photo: Cara Viereckl. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Everest's closure was not permanent, and was due to operational issues and the low platinum price. If the platinum price rose, the mine would again become financially viable.

Pretorius called on Emgodini, Everest mine's operator, to introduce a social plan to stop 1500 people from losing their jobs and help workers to apply for other jobs in the mining sector.

The trade union welcomed Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu's announcement that a task team would be established to try and save jobs in the platinum industry. This process should be carried out quickly and transparently, Pretorius said. - Sapa

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