Photo: File.

JOHANNESBURG - Mining company Sibanye-Stillwater said on Thursday its performance for the third quarter ended September signalled a pleasing recovery in the operating and financial performance of the group after a difficult eighteen-month period.

It reported a record safety performance by its South Africa gold operations with over 430 consecutive fatality free days and eight million fatality free shifts, but said there were two fatal incidents at the platinum group metals operations (PGM) at Marikana during the third quarter.

"Most pleasing has been the way our SA gold operations have re-established and improved on what was an industry leading safety record prior to H1 2018, despite the additional challenges posed by the five-month strike which ended in April 2019," said Sibanye.

"Also encouraging is the strong operating performance from our SA PGM operations, which has been sustained, even as the integration of the Marikana operation has continued."

Group adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 240 percent to R5.5 billion (US$377 million), with South Africa PGM operations contributing R2.9 billion or 53 percent, the United States PGM operations accounting for R1.8 billion or 32 percent and the gold operations adding R843 million or 15 percent.

Sibanye said the outlook for precious metals prices remained constructive as prices continued to strengthen in the fourth quarter to date

"The outlook for the remainder of the year remains positive. Should this momentum continue as expected, the group will be on track to achieve its leverage target of 1x net debt: adjusted EBITDA and potentially resume dividend payments in the latter half of 2020," the company said.

- African News Agency (ANA)