JOHANNESBURG - Under-fire Sibanye-Stillwater said it had entered into strategic exploration partnership with Regulus Resources to unlock value at its Altar project in Argentina.
Under the terms of the deal, Stillwater Canada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sibanye-Stillwater will enter into a joint venture agreement with Aldebaran, whereby Aldebaran will have the option to earn into a maximum 80 percent interest in a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stillwater Canada, Peregrine Metals which owns the Altar Project.
Sibanye will receive an upfront cash payment $15 million upon closing of the Arrangement.
Sibanye-Stillwater will also retain a direct interest in the project of 40 percent or 20 percent as well as an indirect exposure through its 19.9 percent shareholding in Aldebaran.
Sibanye-Stillwater chief executive, Neal Froneman said the transaction was consistent with the group’s strategy of maintaining its focus and investment on its core mining operations
“We believe Aldebaran possesses the vision, skills and experience to unlock the considerable upside potential of the Altar Project, in which, we will continue to hold a meaningful interest,” Froneman said.
Since its founding five years ago, Sibanye has been on an acquisition spree buying US miner Stillwater for $2.2 billion in 2016 as well as platinum mines from Anglo American in 2015.
Aldebaran has a pipeline of future projects in The South America country. This includes the Altar Cu-Au Porphyry Project, a copper-gold property in San Juan province. Aldebaran’s other projects in Argentina comprise of Aguas Caliente which hosts epithermal precious metals mineralization and the Rio Grande Cu-Au-Ag-Mo Porphyry project.
Regulus chief executive John Black said the proposed transaction creates a new, well-financed company to realize value on its Argentine assets.
“The agreement with Sibanye-Stillwater is designed to provide immediate benefits to shareholders of both companies, as well as exposure to significant future upside potential from an attractive portfolio of exploration projects,” Black said.
Sibanye-Stillwater has come under heavy criticism over deaths at its South African operations.
The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources, Sahlulele Luzipo last week called for strong action to be taken against the Sibanye-Stillwater mining company, including possibly suspending its operating licence.
The group, however, last week received welcome news after the UK competition authorities unconditionally cleared its proposed £285m acquisition of Lonmin.
The deal which will create world's second-largest platinum miner is still subject to regulatory approval in South Africa.
- BUSINESS REPORT