Lonmin CEO Ben Magara said on Monday that job cuts were “inevitable” as the company posted a steep decline in earnings due to the 15-week strike in the sector.

The company suffered a big fall in earnings on Monday with Fin24 reporting that the world’s third largest platinum producer posted underlying earnings before interest and tax of $34-million for the six months to the end of March, down from $93-million a year earlier.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) downed tools at Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum in January. The union rejected the companies’ latest wage offer last week.

Magara told reporters on Monday that even before the strike, the industry was battling and the resultant labour action simply exacerbated the issue.

“When the industry went into the strike about 40-60% of the shafts were not making money already,” said Magara.

“The depth of the restructuring will depend clearly on the return to work date and how we will ramp up… But it would appear that this extended strike led by Amcu (the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union) has made this inevitable.”