Third-biggest platinum producer Lonmin to shed thousands of workers
The world's third-biggest platinum producer Lonmin announced plans Tuesday to lay off up to 5,500 workers at two operations in South Africa, dpa reported.
Production of platinum, a precious metal used in car manufacturing and jewellery, has been severely affected by the global downturn.
Lonmin's announcement follows the announcement earlier this month by leading platinum producer Anglo Platinum, the South African arm of mining giant Anglo American, that it planned to cut 10,000 jobs in 2009.
The layoffs have been prompted by plunging prices for the metal that peaked at close to 2,300 dollars an ounce less than a year ago, more than twice the price of gold, and is now hovering around the 1,000 dollars-an-ounce mark.
Lonmin said it had reached agreement with unions on the layoffs, which would include 300 management staff.