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JOHANNESBURG - Sibanye Gold said it will report an attributable loss of at least R4.8 billion for the six-months ended 30 June 2017, compared with attributable earnings of R333 million for the comparative period.

Sibanye said the decrease in earnings was primarily attributable to non-recurring items which were fourfold higher than for the comparative period, and the 14% appreciation of the average rand relative to the US dollar, which impacted group's revenue. 

Earlier this month, Sibanye announced planned retrenchments of around 7,400 employees at its Gauteng and Free State operations.

Earnings per share and headline earnings per share for the period were further affected. Sibanye said that loss per share will be at least 320 cents, or 24 U.S. cents, for the period, with headline loss per share at least 145 cents, or 11 U.S. cents.

Gold produced by Sibanye for the six months ended 30 June 2017 declined by 8% relative to the comparable period to 688,600 ounces while operating costs at the South African gold operations increased by approximately 3% to R8,9 billion.

Sibanye said the continuing integration of the platinum group metals operations had been pleasing, with the solid performance delivered toward the end of 2016 being maintained during the first half of 2017.

Sibanye will present its operating and financial results for the six-months ended 30 June 2017 at the end of this month.