The Rustenburg mines have been the epicentre of often violent labour unrest in recent years.
(READ MORE: Implats’ earnings may take severe fall after strike)
Such a move could provoke resistance from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), which last year led a five-month strike against Implats and rivals Lonmin Plc and [DATA AMS:Anglo American Platinum Ltd].
Unveiling the results of a strategic review, [DATA IMP:Impala Platinum Holdings Limited] has said it will include a pivot away from labour-intensive mining to mechanisation, the world's No. 2 producer of platinum also said "the business may require additional funding in order to ensure the long-term strategic intent remains intact."
(READ MORE: Implats announces closure of Bimha mine)
Simultaneously, it stressed the need to conserve cash in the face of depressed prices. Its balance sheet shows its cash and a cash equivalent as of Dec. 31 was 2.7 billion rand (235.5 million US dollars), a fall of 25 percent compared with the same period in 2013.
Its interim headline earnings fell 53.5 percent, the middle of the range it previously flagged to the market, because of impairments in Zimbabwe and the lasting impact of last year's strike.