ArcelorMittal South Africa said on Thursday that it would defer the closure of its long steel business by six months as the steelmaker pursues various initiatives with the government, state utilities and workers.
The company said there was "constructive progress" in the engagements, with several interventions that could salvage the business and save 3 500 jobs at risk from the closure of the unit.
"ArcelorMittal South Africa is able to announce the deferral of the wind-down of the longs business to allow for its continued operation for up to six months," the company said in a statement.
Last November, ArcelorMittal announced plans to close its long steel business, which produces fencing material, rail, rods and bars used in the construction, mining and manufacturing sectors, citing low demand and infrastructure challenges that drove costs higher.
The South African unit of the world's second largest steelmaker - ArcelorMittal - on Thursday also reported a full-year loss, dampened by weak demand and increased imports from China.
It posted a headline loss per share of R1.70 in the year ended December 31 versus headline earnings per share of R2.34 the previous year.