Sibanye Gold shopping for new mines, possibly including base metals
South Africa’s Sibanye Gold (JSE:SGL) (NYSE:SBGL) is actively considering acquisitions as the miner seeks to take advantage of its strong current position and the weakness of most competitors.
The company’s shares have performed exceptionally so far this year. They are up 55% in Johannesburg and 46% in New York, after hitting a record intraday high on Jan. 28, helped in part by a weak rand that has helped Sibanye to reduce costs.
The miner, which will soon change its name to Sibanye Resources, is not only looking at buying gold assets, but also at platinum, coal and uranium mines, while also looking to expand to the base metals market.
“For us to make an entry into another commodity, we’d have to look at where it is in the cycle and how close it is to a bull run. Base metals will be more of a focus initially than bulk commodities,” chief executive officer Neal Froneman said.
“There are some seriously distressed companies out there. I don’t think we’ll be going to Australia or North America. We are sub-and southern-African focused when we talk of outside South Africa, and we’d want to buy producers,” Froneman added.
The executive, who has been at the helm of Sibanye since it was spun out of Gold Fields in 2012, said the potential acquisitions would be in addition to the purchases of Aquarius Platinum Ltd. and three Anglo American Platinum mines, which were agreed last year and are currently awaiting regulatory approvals.
The company, South Africa’s largest gold producer, said output for 2016 would be about 1.61 million ounces, slightly higher than the 1.54 million ounces it generated during 2015, a target adjusted downwards following poor production figures earlier in the year, mainly in the March quarter. Sibanye had forecast 1.67 million ounces in 2015.
All-in sustaining costs will be about 425,000 rand a kilogram, or $880 an ounce.