Sibanye-Stillwater stake in New Century Resources approved

SIBANYE-Stillwater said a $46m investment in base metals tailings re-treatment company New Century Resources had been approved by the target firm’s shareholders at its annual general meeting on November 30.

A majority of 99.6% approved the transaction which sees Sibanye-Stillwater extend its operating footprint to Australian where New Century produced 128,000 tons of zinc from tailings in its last financial year.

New Century Resources is now seeking to buy additional resources and has earmarked the Mt Lyell copper operations in Australia. Sibanye-Stillwater said it intended walking with New Century Resources as it set about extending its reach – a process akin to the South African firm’s 50.1% investment in DRDGOLD, a gold tailings retreatment company.

Sibanye-Stillwater purchased the New Century Resources shares at 15.5 Australian cents apiece. In terms of Australian takeover regulations, exceeding a 19.9% stake triggers a mandatory offer to shareholders.

The purchase will be through a placement of new shares by New Century Resources to Sibanye-Stillwater which will then subscribe for shares in terms of a planned rights offer. “We are deliberately focused on increasing our exposure to the circular economy through both recycling and tailings re-treatment,” said Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater.

Even for a company as acquisitive as Sibanye-Stillwater, the last 10 months have been highly active as it chases down minerals with application to electric car batteries and renewable power such as lithium and copper.

On October 26, it unveiled the $1bn capture of two mines owned by UK fund management firm, Appian Capital Advisory – the Santa Rita nickel mine and the Serrote copper project, both situated in Brazil. This brought spending through merger and acquisitions for the year to $2bn following the earlier purchase of lithium projects in the US and Finland and nickel processing facilities in France.