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Implats to cut jobs at Marula mine

Says Marula has continued to underperform against op targets.

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Impala Platinum (JSE:IMP), the world’s second largest platinum producer, said on Friday it aimed to cut staff at its Marula subsidiary in South Africa because of a persistent failure to meet production targets.

It said in a statement job cuts would be needed since the operation is staffed for higher production levels which will not be met. It said it would not reach its target of 95,000 ounces of refined platinum per year by 2013 but annual output would remain at 70,000 ounces.

Its share price pared gains on the news but was still firmer, trading 1.52 percent higher at 186.00 rand by 0820 GMT compared to a 0.87 percent increase on the all-share index.

It said that Marula “has continued to underperform against the operational targets that management has set.”

The company may face resistance from unions on the job cuts front as labour relations in South Africa are strained and the annual round of wage talks are kicking off. Union officials were not immediately available for comment.

Impala has a 73 percent stake in Marula.

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