Anglo will 'try' to minimise job cuts

Anglo American, one of the world’s largest mining groups, will “try to minimise the impact of job cuts”, it said on Wednesday.

This followed the release earlier of the group’s review of its capital expenditure programme.

The company now planned to reduce its 2009 capital expenditure by more than 50% to $4,5-billion.

“We haven’t yet predicted the impact the capital expenditure cut will have on the head count, but we are working with the appropriate authorities to minimise the impact of job cuts,” said the company’s
Johannesburg spokesperson, Pranill Ramchander.

He said Anglo American had been working closely with the government and unions.

“As you would expect, we will act responsibly when dealing with all employment related issues,” Ramchancer added.

The group had just completed “a wide ranging review” of its capital expenditure programme at a time when the mining industry had experienced “an unprecedented period of rapid declines in commodity
prices due to global economic uncertainty,” it said earlier in astatement.

Such circumstances presented a very different near term outlook and a clear need to adjust the Group’s investment plans, Anglo American said.

“Capital expenditure for 2009 has been capped at $4,5-billion, a reduction of more than 50%, including $1,3-billion of stay-in-business capital expenditure, a lower level than the projected amount for 2008.

“The substantial changes to planned capital expenditure will be achieved principally by rescheduling many of the group’s development
projects,” the company said.

According to chief executive Cynthia Carroll, the group had taken decisive action as a result of the fast changing economic climate and had undertaken a thorough re-evaluation of its stay-in-business and
development requirements.

“We have made significant adjustments to prioritise the expenditure in those areas where we expect relative outperformance in the near term while maintaining a high degree of flexibility for our future growth.

“Beyond these changes, we are making excellent progress with our asset optimisation programme and procurement and shared service initiatives, driving significant cost and efficiency improvements across the group.”

Carroll said Anglo American was well-positioned to weather the current weak economic conditions, as a result of its robust balance sheet and high quality asset portfolio. - Sapa

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