Sibanye-Stillwater investments to create 7,000 jobs

Sibanye-Stillwater is investing R6.8 billion in local projects, stimulating job creation.

Mining giant Sibanye-Stillwater has committed to investing R6.8 billion in three capital projects, which are expected to create 7,000 jobs.

The group’s board has approved the development of the K4 and Klipfontein projects in Rustenburg, North West, and the resumption of capital development of the Burnstone gold projects in Balfour, Mpumalanga.

Chief executive Neal Froneman flagged concerns around South Africa’s current policy and ideology, which he said continued to inhibit investment.

Neal cautioned that, “Continued policy uncertainty, combined with other risks, such as those related to the reliability of water and power availability and the uncertain outlook for electricity costs, as well as risks of social disruption and inefficient regulatory processes, are ongoing deterrents to significant investment.

“Right now, we are in a commodity super cycle, and there is a significant potential for the mining industry to contribute to the economic growth of South Africa.”

The development of K4 would entail the completion of the project, which was significantly advanced by the previous owners, Lonmin, which sunk capex of R4.4 billion into the project before suspending it due to capital constraints.

About 4,380 jobs were expected to be created once K4 reaches steady state production, and 124 other jobs will be created at the Klipfontein project. Burnstone, which was previously operated by Great Basin Gold, is expected to ramp up over five years to a steady state production of about 130,000 ounces a year for 10 years.

The operation was expected to create 2 500 permanent jobs in an area faced with an unemployment rate exceeding 30 percent.

“The projects we have approved are among the best in the industry due to specific characteristics which enhance their attractiveness and support the investment decision,” said Neal.

The group recorded an adjusted free cash flow of R19.9 billion, 63 times more than the R318 million posted in 2019.