Neal Froneman
Rainmakers & Potstirrers

Neal Froneman

CEO: Sibanye-Stillwater

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‘We can look forward to seeing an improvement in PGM prices, but I don’t think we are going back to where we were a few years ago’

SIBANYE-Stillwater had a typically eventful year under Froneman’s all-action, outspoken leadership. Some unusual obstacles have also ‘sprouted’ on its diversification path into green metals: its Rhyolite Ridge lithium project in Nevada hit a snag because of its proximity to buckwheat, a rare plant native to the area. Reconfiguring the pit so that operations don’t threaten the plant has delayed the project by a year.

Sibanye-Stillwater also faced shareholder wrath when it launched a $500m convertible bond offering in November 2023 to finance expansion at a time when earnings were shrinking. As a convertible instrument, jitters about dilution saw the company’s share price tank over 20% on the day of the announcement. Expect earnings, the dividend, and the health of Sibanye-Stillwater’s balance sheet to be enduring themes this year, as well as threat of production and project cuts.

As if life couldn’t be busier, Froneman embarked on some extramural activities. He helps lead a crime-combating initiative which is part of a collaboration between business and government that aims to tackle a trifecta of woes afflicting South Africa’s economy: crime, logistics and energy. Sibanye-Stillwater’s own operations are in the line of fire after it reported a surge in attacks on its security personnel in 2023. Froneman was also appointed the new chairperson of the World Gold Council. Such roles speak to his energy and sense of duty. When he sees a problem in the mining sector, he steps up to the plate, and is never shy of speaking out.

He warned in October of looming lay-offs in the platinum group metals (PGM) sector because of falling prices. Sibanye-Stillwater subsequently opened restructuring talks at its Kroondal, Marikana and Rustenburg PGM operations, having previously done the same at its ageing gold mine, Kloof.


Froneman has spent almost four decades in the mining sector, and the last decade has been the most eventful. The CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater since its spin-off from Gold Fields, Froneman has expanded the company from gold into PGMs and now battery metals. He still finds time for his passions, which include target shooting on his game farm, music, and tinkering with the engines of cars to make them go faster.

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