Sibanye-Stillwater said on Thursday the resumption and build-up of production from its South African gold operations had progressed. Picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG  - Sibanye-Stillwater said on Thursday the resumption and build-up of production from its South African gold operations had progressed according to plan following the resolution of a five month strike in April.

Last November, more than 15,000 workers affiliated to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union embarked on a protracted strike at Sibanye gold mines demanding higher wages, negatively impacting output.

On Thursday, Sibanye said gold production between April and June was 46 percent higher at 155,956 ounces compared to the period from January to March.

It said operating results from its three segments were significantly improved in the second quarter, relative to the first.

Further operational improvements forecast across the group during the second half of the year were providing the momentum to achieve segmental annual guidance, it added.

Production from South African gold operations, excluding DRDGOLD, was expected to normalize from August, with output for the second half of the year forecast between 514,000 and 546,000 ounces.

This would be significantly higher than the first half production of 262,904 ounces, and more reflective of forecast production rates before the strike.

Sibanye said the consistent operational performance from the platinum group metals (PGM) operations continued, with second quarter 4E PGM production of 283,526 ounces, eight percent higher than the first quarter. 

It said the Marikana operations would be consolidated as part of the PGM operations for the month of June in operating and financial results to be released at the end of August.

Further operational improvements forecast across the group during the second half of 2019 were expected to provide the momentum to achieve annual guidance.

Due to seasonal factors, the second half of the calendar year is generally better from an operational perspective for South African mining operations. 

As such, Sibanye said it expected annual production to be at the upper end of guidance of between one million ounces and 1.1 million ounces.

- African News Agency (ANA)