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FILE PHOTO: Haul trucks are seen at Kumba Iron Ore, the world's largest iron ore mines in Khathu, Northern Cape Province November 15, 2011. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Anglo’s S.African iron ore unit to cut some jobs due to rail problems

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Anglo American’s South African iron ore unit plans to cut some jobs at its head office as it restructures due to challenges in moving sufficient volumes to ports due to rail constraints.

Kumba Iron Ore sent notice to cut 183 jobs, with the majority at its headquarters, Livhuwani Mammburu, spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers said.

The job cuts could be reduced to about 141 workers, if the restructuring plan is successful, Mammburu said, adding the labour group opposed the plans.

“Kumba said it’s embarking on a restructuring and the main reasons they are giving is they are not able to transport more iron ore to the port due to the problems with Transnet,” Mammburu told Reuters, referring to the state-owned logistics company.

The miner’s iron ore exports have been throttled by frequent disruptions on the rail line operated by Transnet. The disruptions, often caused by locust swarms, have recently been worsened by cable thefts and derailments.

As a result, Kumba has been forced to stockpile more iron ore at mines.

Kumba’s profit in the six months through June declined 17 percent due to the rail challenges and softer prices.

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