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Glencore to cut 124 jobs at Namibia zinc and lead mine

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[June 03, 2014]  LONDON (Reuters) - Global mining and commodity trading company Glencore  said it was cutting 124 jobs, or about 20 percent of the staff, at its Rosh Pinah zinc and lead mine in Namibia to control costs.

Glencore bought an 80.1 percent stake in Rosh Pinah zinc and lead mine, in southwestern Namibia, 800 kilometers south of the capital Windhoek, in 2011 from South Africa's Exxaro <EXXJ.J> and other shareholders, and has been reviewing the operation.

“The management of Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation has announced changes that aim to address significant economic pressures," Glencore said in a statement.

"We sympathise and understand that this may be a difficult time for some of our employees and their families. As a result, we have engaged the Chamber of Mines to coordinate the possible appointment (of the staffers losing their jobs) at other mines within Namibia.”

The underground Rosh Pinah mine produced about 114,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 20,550 tonnes of lead concentrate in 2013, up 20 percent and 17.5 percent respectively compared to 2012, according to the Chamber of Mines of Namibia.

The Namibian company has 600 permanent employees and about 138 temporary employees and contractors and had a turnover of about 834 million Namibian dollars ($78.1 million) in 2013, according to the Chamber of Mines.

(Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by Jane Baird)

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