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Glencore to shut some Optimum Coal operations

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World Coal,

Glencore will go ahead with a plan to close some operations at its Optimum Coal subsidiary in South Africa, Reuters has reported, due to weak coal prices.

The company announced that it was considering the closures in January with the affected areas including the Optimum opencast operations, large portions of the coal processing plants and associated support services.

The closures would cut Optimum’s coal production in half from 10 million tpa to just 5 million tpa and would affect over 1000 employees, according to the January statement.

In response, the South African National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has said it is “saddened and shocked” by Glencore’s actions, accusing the company of not caring about the lives of mineworkers.

“There is a need for a real transformation in the mining industry that emphasise[s] human development, not only profits,” the NUM said in a statement. “The NUM will fight tooth and nail to make sure that its members are not retrenched cheaply. We remain fearless, committed, dedicated and unshaken in fighting for our members.”

Optimum’s current production is split equally between exports and supply for the Hendrina power plant.

Written by . Source: Reuters; National Union of Mineworkers

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