The Minerals Council has warned that gold and platinum mines in the country could shed around 90 000 jobs in the next three years due to above-inflation electricity increases adding to already soaring operation costs.

Speaking in Johannesburg, the council’s CEO, Roger Baxter said 90 222 jobs would be at risk due to the tariff hikes granted to Eskom over the next three years.

Baxter said coupled with ongoing power outages, Eskom’s impact on the mining sector is not just a crisis but a potential disaster.

According to the Minerals Council, 71% of all gold mines and 65% of platinum mines in the country were making a loss or were marginal at the end of last year.

Last week, Statistics South Africa data showed that gold production contracted for the 15th month in a row, shrinking by more than 22% in January, while platinum output was up almost 9% in the same period.