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Amplats to reveal restructuring plans next week

Miners walk at the end of their shift at the Anglo Platinum's Khuseleka shaft 1 mine in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg, January 15, 2
Miners walk at the end of their shift at the Anglo Platinum's Khuseleka shaft 1 mine in Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg, January 15, 2

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Anglo American Platinum said on Tuesday it would next week reveal the outcome of talks with the government and unions about restructuring plans that could see it cut up to 14,000 jobs and mothball two mines in South Africa.

The plans by the Anglo American unit and world's top platinum producer to restore profits has met fierce resistance from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and unions.

The talks were extended for a month at the end of March and the final plan had been expected to be unveiled this week.

"The parties are still in the process of concluding the details of the consultation and its outcome will be communicated during the week commencing 6 May 2013," Amplats said in a statement.

Its initial restructuring plan, unveiled in January, called for the mothballing of two mines near the platinum belt city of Rustenburg and cutting up to 14,000 jobs, almost a quarter of Amplats' workforce and 3 percent of South Africa's miners.

That prompted the one-day closure of several Amplats operations by the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which emerged last year as the dominant labour group in the platinum sector after a bloody turf war with the rival National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

An announcement of job cuts may spark fresh strikes and has raised the specter of a repeat of last year's labour violence and wildcat action that led to over 50 deaths and cost companies and the state billions of dollars in lost revenue.

Amplats suffered its first loss last year because of the strikes and the low platinum price, and it says cuts are crucial to any hopes of swinging back into profit.

(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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