JOHANNESBURG, March 28 (Reuters) - Anglo American Platinum , the world's largest producer of the precious metal, said on Thursday it had extended for 30 days its talks with the government about restructuring plans that could see it cut up to 14,000 jobs and mothball two mines.
The plans by the Anglo American unit to restore profits has met fierce resistance from the government and unions. The consultation process was to have ended this weekend and will now go on until the end of April.
The stakes are high as Amplats' sank into a loss last year, dragged down by low prices and a wave of violent illegal strikes rooted in a union turf war for members.
Going through with the job cuts could rekindle social tensions around the restive platinum-belt city of Rustenburg 120 kms (70 miles) northwest of Johannesburg.
Amplats has said it will devote 800 million rand ($86.13 million) to a social development plan which would include support for agriculture in the poor rural areas where much of the mine labour force is drawn from.
But this will be a hard sell as even low-paid work underground has historically been a step up from peasant farming and unions and the ruling African National Congress have signaled they are not buying into such plans.
'The volume of information and data has necessitated the proposed extension,' chief executive Chris Griffith said.
($1 = 9.2887 South African rand)
(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle) Keywords: AMPLATS RESTRUCTURING/
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