JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Sibanye Gold’s platinum division has taken over ownership, control and management of the Rustenburg Operations from Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) Rustenburg Platinum Mines (RPM).
Amplats announced in September last year that it would sell the Rustenburg Operations, which include the Bathopele, Siphumelele, Khomanani, Thembelani and Khuseleka mining operations, as well as two concentrating plants, an on-site chrome recovery plant, the Western Limb Tailings Retreatment Plant and associated surface infrastructure, to Sibanye Rustenburg Platinum Mines (SRPM) for at least R4.5-billion.
Sibanye on Tuesday said the transaction had now been fully implemented, following the settlement of a R1.5-billion initial upfront purchase price.
Amplats CEO Chris Griffith said the upfront proceeds would be used to reduce net debt and strengthen Amplats’ balance sheet.
“This is a major step in the repositioning of Amplats’ portfolio. The sale of the Rustenburg Operations allows us to focus on our most competitive assets, consisting of largely openpit and more mechanised operations which will result in higher-margin production, a smaller and more highly skilled workforce, safer operations and a less complex organisation.
“As a result, our core operations stand to benefit from dedicated management attention and technical expertise, as well as our disciplined capital allocation model,” he added.
Meanwhile, Sibanye on Tuesday also announced that it had finalised the broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) ownership of SRPM. From November 1, Sibanye holds 74% of SRPM, with the remaining 26% held through a BBBEE special purpose vehicle (SPV) Newshelf 1335.
Rustenburg Operations employees hold 30.4% of the SPV, with the Rustenburg Mine Community Development Trust holding 24.8%, Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Investment Holdings 24.8% and Siyanda Resources 20%.
“We are pleased to have concluded the transaction and look forward, together with our BBBEE partners, to making a positive contribution to the sustainability of the Rustenburg Operations.
“We are confident that we will realise meaningful cost and operational synergies by consolidating the Rustenburg Operations and [Aquarius Platinum’s] Kroondal Operations and secure a sustainable and rewarding future for all stakeholders” said Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman.
Sibanye, which earlier this year also completed the acquisition of Aquarius Platinum, has meanwhile made some management changes to its platinum division.
Jean Nel has stepped down as CEO of the division, effective November 1, and is succeeded by Robert van Niekerk, formerly executive VP of organisational effectiveness.
Dawie van Aswegen has been appointed senior VP of technical services for the platinum division.
“I would like to thank Jean for leading the successful integration of the Aquarius operations into Sibanye, and I wish him good fortune with his future endeavours.
"I am [also] very pleased to welcome Dawie to the Sibanye platinum division executive team. His experience and understanding of the Rustenburg Operations will add further depth to an already strong platinum executive team.
“I am confident that this team, under Robert’s leadership and experience, will realise significant value for stakeholders as we integrate these operations into the group,” said Froneman.