07/05/2010 Mark Cutifani CEO of AngloGold Ashanti presenting their first quarter results at their offices in JHB. (176) Photo: Leon N icholas

Cape Town - South African politicians' threats to review mining licences are “out of order”, the incoming chief executive of Anglo American said on Thursday, criticising comments made after the miner's struggling platinum arm announced 14,000 job cuts.

“Threats to licences are out of order,” Mark Cutifani, who is currently chief executive of bullion producer AngloGold Ashanti, told an African mining investment conference in Cape Town.

“We shouldn't be threatening licences when a company is looking at preserving its life,” he said.

Anglo American Platinum says its plan to mothball two mines and slash up to 14,000 jobs is crucial to restoring profits after the company suffered its first loss last year.

The ruling African National Congress has attacked the restructuring and said it justified a review of mining licences and President Jacob Zuma this week said threatening mine closures was almost “blackmail.” - Reuters