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Sibanye-Stillwater touts 'exceptional' results

Sibanye-Stillwater announced a new record financial result last week, thanks to high commodity prices and despite lower platinum group metals production for the September quarter in South Africa.
Sibanye-Stillwater touts 'exceptional' results Sibanye-Stillwater touts 'exceptional' results Sibanye-Stillwater touts 'exceptional' results Sibanye-Stillwater touts 'exceptional' results Sibanye-Stillwater touts 'exceptional' results

Sibanye-Stillwater’s Kroondal PGM operations in South Africa

Staff reporter

Group adjusted EBITDA was up 182% compared with the September 2019 quarter, to R15.6 billion (US$922 million).

"This represents another record quarterly financial result, surpassing the full-year group adjusted EBITDA of R14,956 million (US$1,034 million) for 2019," the company said.

It said 4E PGM production in South Africa of 427,715 4Eoz was 18% lower than for the comparable period in 2019, although the production build-up, post lockdown restrictions, had delivered ahead of schedule.

It expected 2020 4E and gold production from its managed operations to come in at the upper end of production guidance and lower end of forecast costs.

However its mined 2E production in the US was expected to come in towards the lower end of guidance, with COVID-19 precautions including social distancing having a negative impact on output.

"Logistical constraints (transport of employees) and the need to stagger shift arrangements and blast cycles to accommodate social distancing has resulted in productivity declines of approximately 8% versus pre-COVID-19 levels," the company said.

"For 2020 this is equivalent to a loss of approximately 20,000 2Eoz of mined production."

It said its Blitz project in the US would be delayed by up to two years, having paused growth capital activities due to COVID-19 earlier this year, and it was expected to reach steady-state production by 2024.

By the end of the third quarter, Sibanye-Stillwater said its South Africa gold operations had recalled about 92% of the workforce and achieved a production run rate of approximately 99% of planned levels, and its PGM operations in the country had recalled about 88% of the workforce with a production run rate of 93% of planned levels achieved.

"Despite still being impacted by COVID-19 constraints during Q3 2020, the consistent operational performance coupled with high commodity prices, underpinned an exceptional financial result for the group for Q3 2020," the company said.

There were zero fatalities at its US and South Africa PGM operations but two during the quarter at its gold operations in South Africa.

There were a further two fatalities in early October. 

Sibanye-Stillwater resumed dividends in August and said further dividends would be prioritised.

"At current commodity prices and the prevailing exchange rate, and with the SA operations having attained normalised production run rates, the group is likely to continue generating significant cash flow," CEO Neal Froneman said.

"We will continue to maintain a disciplined approach to capital allocation, with the primary focus on securing the future of the company and delivering on our vision of superior value creation for all our stakeholders by prioritising dividends, share buy backs when appropriate, and smart, value accretive growth."

Its shares (JSE: SSW) closed down 2.4% on Friday to R4,693c, valuing it at R137.3 billion (US$8.5 billion).