Sibanye-Stillwater not seeking fresh capital for uncertain, strike-hit SA mines

NEAL Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, said the company would not seek new capital for its South African operations whilst the environment remained uncertain.

The Minerals Council South Africa, of which Froneman is a vice-president, yesterday applied  for a judicial review of the country’s Mining Charter. Although the document – which sets down rules on transformation targets – has been well received since it was redrafted, it had retained elements from an earlier draft that would continue to hinder investment.

“It’s difficult to convince shareholders that South African mining is an investment case”, Froneman was quoted to have said by Bloomberg News. The climate is “not yet conducive to make decisions that require billions of rand”, he added.

Sibanye-Stillwater is also locked in a dispute with the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (AMCU) regarding pay increases at the firm’s gold mines. A strike has been underway for four months.

Froneman was quoted in a Miningmx article that his company would not be intimidated by AMCU, especially as the sides head in platinum wage negotiations later this year.

“In our view, the strike has a bigger purpose. Because if it was just about gold wages it would have been non-sensical to take the position they took … We cannot have one stakeholder abusing shareholders and abusing another union,” said Froneman in reference to the firm’s proposed takeover of Lonmin, another platinum producer, which AMCU has opposed.

“Joseph calls all the shots. I don’t understand how an organisation that is supposedly democratically run operates like that,” said Froneman, adding Mathunjwa appeared to have a “political” agenda given his strident criticism of the ANC and government.

“There is definitely a perception around a South Africa discount,” Bloomberg quoted Froneman to have said.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I think the time has come to speak your mind. The “roll over playing dead” game did not bear any fruits. We all know by now that everyone in Parliament is out to make a fast buck and the rot is too big to cut out of the ANC. Imagine taking the top 200 from the lection list…. The next generation that might take over is not born yet. it’s time for gloves off.

  2. Just close down the South African mines and focus on jurisdictions where you can grow our investment. Let the ANC and the Unions provide jobs for their people….

  3. My brother and sister hope you realize that you are on the most difficult part of your life since there nothing has come from the strike since it started four months back.Remember where two elephants fight the grass is the most suffer, go back to work for you and your loved family members,let politics for politicians

  4. At least NF has the conviction to take stand against the subversive agents of disaster and call it as it is. Standing in for a puppet government without the will to make a difference.

  5. What SA operations do they have to develop?
    Their gold is mined out.
    Their AQPSA/ Anglo PSA has at most 4 years left.
    The Anglo Operations mine they bought has life left, granted. They are buying Lonmin for the smelter, not for the Lonmin orebodies.
    Thus make sense that they decided to rather develop elsewhere.
    The SA operations will die a slow death. Sibanye not the SA mining champion they claimed to be. Its as big a joke as their commitment to pay dividends which also did not last long.

  6. Good point Pete. Definitely not a SA Mining Champion. Goldfields’ assets fell onto somebody’s lap and despite the mantra about increasing resources, this newly created company never added any value to the assets. They just ran them to the ground using the investment Goldfields made in the ore reserve development. Same will happen at Platinum. And the creation of this company was not some stroke of genius on the part of its leadership, it was purely the outcome of Goldfields strategy conversation.

    • That is exactly the genius…NOT investing in (wasting money) developing ore reserves, but rather harvesting what we can before it is too late. Invest the money from this harvesting process in production capacity OUTSIDE Africa and reward loyal shareholders…. It is NOT the job of private business to provide jobs for people… It is government’s role to make the environment investment friendly, thereby attracting investment and creating jobs….
      This government is intent on blaming the past, thereby distracting the poor voters by giving them a common enemy (whites) and in the meantime stealing what they can (before it is too late)….

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