Page last updated at 20:03 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

Anglo Platinum to cut 10,000 jobs

Platinum mine
Platinum prices have fallen sharply from a record high last year

South African mining group Anglo Platinum has said it will cut 10,000 jobs in 2009 to lower costs amid a drop in platinum prices and demand.

The jobs will be eliminated by firing contractors and not replacing departing permanent staff.

Platinum prices have fallen more than 50% from a record high last year.

The firm said it produced 2.39m ounces of refined platinum in 2008 and forecast virtually flat output in 2009, if platinum demand remains the same.

Anglo Platinum, the world's biggest platinum miner which is majority owned by London-based mining giant Anglo American, reported a 5% fall in operating profit amid higher costs and lower sales.

"The costs have risen much and this is a concern. You have a company staffed to produce even up to 3m ounces and they are doing below 2.4m ounces. Their fixed costs are high," said Barend Ritter, a platinum analyst at Sanlam Investment Management.

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