Amplats Announces Mine Sales Following Strike Difficulties
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has revealed its plans to sell some of its key Rustenburg and Union Mines in Limpopo due to a reduction in profitability.
The news comes following its six month financial results where headline earnings had decreased to R157 million from R1.3 billion a year previously.
"The intention to exit Union mine [in Limpopo] and concentrators has already been announced, and it has now been concluded that Rustenburg [in the North West] and our Pandora JV asset will be better placed in the hands of new owners who would be able to provide the focus and capital for the operations to have a successful future," CEO Chris Griffith said in a statement.
"The delivery of our strategy will allow us to focus capital efficiently on the repositioned portfolio, achieving a more profitable, sustainable company for the future.
"We will continue to work closely with all key stakeholders to ensure optimal outcomes for the assets, employees and the South African platinum industry as a whole."
The main reason for the company’s struggles in the first half of 2014 ave been attributed to a strike which condemned 40 percent of the Amplats’ production to dormancy.
Griffith is, however, confident that operations have stabilised and will continue to do so over the course of the rest of the year.
"We were able to ensure security of supply to our customers throughout the period, and those operations unaffected by the strike showed stable and improved performances," he said.
"Since the end of the strike, we have been working to ensure a safe return to work and rebuilding relationships with our employees and the ramp-up process is proceeding well."
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)’s General Secretary, Frans Baleni expressed his shock at the decision of Anglo American’s to sell its oldest South African platinum mines.
"Any sale is going to result in job losses and this is punishment for poor workers. We continue to make that appeal for workers to reject divisions and stay united to defend jobs. The proponents of divisions are now nowhere to be found when mineworkers are losing their jobs," said general secretary Frans Baleni.
"The victims are going to be workers while the sellers will be richer and workers will be poorer and unemployed."
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.