South African miner Sibanye Stillwater swings back to profit

South African mining company, Sibanye-Stillwater today reported its operating and financial results for the 6 months ended June 2018, delivering a performance across the expanded Group in the first half of the year.

South Africa’s largest individual producer of gold recorded a net profit of $7 million (R 78 million) in the first half of 2018 compared with a loss of $364 million the same period in 2017.

Thanks to the inclusion of a 6 months production from its U.S Platinum Group Metals (PGM) operations which the miner acquired in May 2017, the group’s revenue of R23,910 million ($1,942 million) for H1 2018 was 24 percent higher than for the comparable period in 2017.

Gold production from the SA gold operations was 13 percent lower year-on-year, declining from 21,418kg (688,600oz) for H1 2017 to 18,616kg (598,500oz) for H1 2018. This shortfall in production resulted largely from a number of operational disruptions during the period, including the power outage at Beatrix in February 2018.

Closure of Sibanye’s Cooke operations in H2 2017 and operational disruptions at the Driefontein operations, compounded by a 1 percent decline in the average rand gold price received to R519,994/kg (US$1,314/oz) also impacted the revenue of Sibanye’s South Africa’s gold operations.

Revenue from the SA gold operations declined by R1,596 million ($67 million) mainly due to a decline in average rand gold price which impacted gold production in the country. Gold produced declined by 13 percent.

The average PGM basket price for the six months ended 30 June 2018, was 8 percent higher in rand terms than the comparable period in 2017 at R12,941/4Eoz and 16 percent higher in dollar terms at $1,051/4Eoz. This increase was primarily due to significantly higher palladium and rhodium prices (which comprise approximately 30 percent and 8 percent of the 4E PGM basket respectively), which offset the impact of the strong rand in the first quarter.