Sibanye beats its annual production guidance from South African operations
JOHANNESBURG - SIBANYE-STILLWATER, the JSE-listed precious metals giant, has beaten its annual production guidance from South African operations during the year ended December 31, 2020, despite observing Covid-19 protocols, it said yesterday.
The group's South African Platinum Group Metals (PGM) operations produced 1.58 million 4E ounces, including attributable ounces from Mimosa, its joint venture with Impala Platinum in Zimbabwe, representing a 9 percent improvement to the upper limit of its revised annual guidance of between 1.35 million and 1.45m 4E ounces.
PGM production was 918 678 4E ounces during the second half of 2020, 40 percent higher than for the first half of 2020. However, mined PGM production from the US PGM operations was 603 066 2E ounces for 2020 marginally below revised guidance of between 620 000 and 650 000 2E ounces, primarily due to the impact of a spike in Covid-19 infections at the operations in the fourth quarter of 2020, associated with the second wave of Covid-19 in Montana.
Production from the South African gold operations excluding, DRDGold, was 809 941 ounces, 3 percent higher than its revised guidance of between 756 000 and 788 000 ounces, with production of 406 321 ounces for the second half, 48 percent higher than for the first half 2020.
Chief executive Neal Froneman said the management was extremely pleased by the manner in which the initial threat of Covid-19 was handled at the firm's operations.“
“We continue to observe strict Covid-19 protocols at the operations as the health and safety of our employees remain our primary imperative. In the absence of unexpected disruptions, the group is well positioned to deliver a much more consistent and significantly improved operating result for 2021,” said Froneman.
Sibanye-Stillwater has benefited from a strong precious metal price environment and resumed cash dividends for the first time in three years during the six months ended June after profits soared, buoyed by record gold prices. In August, the group declared an R1.338 billion interim dividend, or 50 cents a share, thanks to the bumper gold price environment.
The record gold prices resulted in a positive outlook from S&P Global Ratings for Sibanye-Stillwater, AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields following expectations that the gold miners would generate significantly higher cash than previously expected and would also payback debt faster due to the strong gold price.
Sibanye-Stillwater shares closed 2.76 percent higher at R63.63 on the JSE yesterday.