HomeMarket NewsMiningSibanye-Stillwater Takes Drastic Measures to Shore Up Struggling US Operations

Sibanye-Stillwater Takes Drastic Measures to Shore Up Struggling US Operations

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Facing a storm of financial challenges in its US platinum group metals (PGM) operations, Sibanye-Stillwater has made a tough call to slash approximately 300 jobs in a bid to navigate the choppy waters. The company’s announcement comes on the heels of a $500 million convertible bond sale aimed at bolstering its balance sheet and fortifying its position in the market.

Earlier in the year, Sibanye-Stillwater was forced to halt production at its Stillwater West mine in Montana due to an incident that caused damage to the shaft infrastructure, an additional blow to the company which had already endured a six-week shutdown at the same mine last year following widespread flooding in the region. The unfavorable conditions at its US operations, including cost pressures and a persistent skills shortage, have impelled the company to make the difficult decision to release around 100 employees and nearly 187 contractors.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s chief executive officer, Neal Froneman, emphasized the necessity of prompt action, stating, β€œWe have taken decisive action to address costs at the US PGM operations, to ensure the sustainability of these long-life operations during a challenging period of lower than anticipated PGM prices.” While the restructuring will have an impact on the workforce, the miner reassured that it is not expected to significantly impact its output or recycling operations.

The downturn in PGM prices, with palladium plummeting over 40% and platinum dropping 13% this year, has sent shockwaves across the industry, leading other major players such as Impala Platinum Holdings and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) into discussions about potential job cuts. The rumbling labor market in South Africa, where one-third of the workforce is unemployed, is set to worsen with the imminent layoffs.

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