An incident at Sibanye-Stillwater’s US Platinum Group Metal operations is expected to shave up to 30 000 ounces off annual production, the group announced on Monday.
In an update to the market on Monday afternoon, Sibanye said an incident occurred at its Stillwater West mine in Montana during scheduled non-routine maintenance on the winder which services the vertical shaft accessing the deeper levels of the Stillwater West mine.
“This incident resulted in structural damage to the shaft headgear, winder house and winder rope,” the company said, adding there were no injuries to personnel and investigations into the causes of the incident are under way.
“The damage to the shaft infrastructure will require remediation, and access to the deeper levels of the mine will be impacted while remediation is under way,” Sibanye said.
Access to the upper levels of the Stillwater West mine and the Stillwater East mine was unaffected and production from these areas, as well as from the East Boulder mine, will continue.
“Production from the Stillwater West mine below 50 level will be suspended for approximately four weeks until the remediation is completed, resulting in approximately 25 000 2E [platinum and palladium] ounces to 30 000 2E ounces less production for the year.”
Last year Sibanye produced 420 000 2E ounces from its US operations.
For the year ended in December, Sibanye reported a 44% decline in profit – from R33.8 billion in 2021 to R19 billion in 2022 – as a result of a three-month strike at its South African gold mines, a one-in-200-year flood at its Montana operations in the US, inflation and other macro-economic headwinds.
Sibanye said further guidance would be provided once shaft repair schedules are finalised, and production schedules have been fully optimised given the current shaft constraints.
The company share price was up 5.76% to R40 at the closing trade on Monday. Sibanye’s market value has declined 15% in the year to date.