Sibanye Gold: Platinum mines on radar after strike

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Sibanye Gold, South Africa’s biggest producer of the metal, will consider buying platinum mines once the strike is resolved. “There’s nothing specific on the table right now, but we’re open to the idea” of buying platinum mines, some of which may go on sale after the strike, James Wellsted, a company spokesman, said on Friday. Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin have said they might be forced to close shafts or sell assets as a result of the strike, which is now in its 11th week. Sibanye has been the country’s best-performing gold producer this year after it cut costs and negotiated a pay deal with unions. Wellsted said there was “a lot of potential to replicate what we’ve done with the Sibanye assets in the platinum sector”. Chief executiveNeal Froneman boosted production at Sibanye’s mines by changing shift patterns and cutting costs, making lower-grade gold economically viable. He also negotiated a two-year pay deal with unions, bringing stability to the sector. – Bloomberg

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