Sibanye Gold lifts output, maintains 2016 production forecast

Sibanye Gold Ltd., the biggest producer of bullion from South Africa, maintained its full-year forecasts after output rose and costs declined in the first quarter when compared with the same period in 2015.

Sibanye is on track to produce 1.61 million ounces this year at an all-in sustaining cost of $880 an ounce, the Westonaria-based company said in a statement Monday. Production increased 14 percent to 360,800 ounces in the first quarter from a year earlier while costs declined 28 percent to $895 an ounce.

Sibanye, rebounding from operational problems in the first quarter of last year, is attempting to capitalize on a gold price that’s up 16 percent so far in 2016 and a local currency, in which it pays costs, that has weakened by the same amount against the dollar in the past 12 months. The stock has more than doubled this year, which Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman says provides an opportunity to make acquisitions in addition to Aquarius Platinum Ltd. and three Anglo American Platinum Ltd. mines.

The financial performance “reflects a solid and expected recovery from the March 2015 quarter which was impacted by a number of one off events,” Sibanye said in the statement.

The stock declined 4.7 percent to 51.39 rand a share, the lowest since Feb. 25, as gold declined as much as $15 Friday after the South African stock market closed. The precious metal was 0.1 percent higher at $1,234.03 an ounce at 8:50 a.m. in London.

– Bloomberg