Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman
Johannesburg – Sibanye Gold, South Africa’s largest single gold producer, said on Thursday the stronger rand against the US dollar had affected operating profit of its gold division for the quarter ended March.

Sibanye, which was established in 2012 when Gold Fields unbundled its ageing South African assets, also said that gold production had declined by 9 percent to 330 000 ounces in March after the Cooke 4 shaft closed in September.

The company said the 16 percent exchange rate appreciation to R13.21 against the US dollar in the March 2017 quarter from an average of R15.70 against the US dollar for the March 2016 quarter had cut operating profit in its gold division by almost 40 percent.

“The average operating margin for the gold division declined from 38 percent to 18 percent, with operating profit decreasing from R2.531 billion for the March 2016 quarter to R967 million,” the company said in its quarterly update.

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Sibanye, which is acquiring Stillwater, a platinum operation in the US, said that its platinum division had delivered attributable PGM production of 286716 ounces for the March quarter in line with planned levels.