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Sibanye-Stillwater’s Montana mine to remain halted for 4-6 weeks

East Boulder currently produces about 240,000 ounces of platinum and palladium in concentrate a year. (Image courtesy of Sibanye-Stillwater.)

Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater (JSE: SSW) (NYSE: SBSW) said on Friday that its Stillwater platinum mine will remain halted for four to six weeks, as the company works on repairing damage caused after widespread flooding in Montana.

Following an initial assessment of the impact of weather-triggered inundation and mudslides, Sibanye-Stillwater said that its operations were largely unaffected.

Access to the East Boulder mine and Columbus metallurgical facilities remains intact and both facilities continued operating during the flooding events, the company said.

Around its Stillwater mine, which accounts for 60% of the company’s production in the US, several bridges were damaged, and sections of the primary access road have been severely eroded. This has restricted access to the mine and required rerouting of water, tailings and other piping, the company said.

Sibanye-Stillwater said it has started remediation work on its east/west access bridge, which will be completed in a month. Operations at Stillwater mine will remain suspended longer, until safe access to the mine is restored and production can resume.

“We will continue to work with the local authorities and other stakeholders to fast-track the recovery of the region,” chief executive Neal Froneman said in a statement.

The South African company’s mines in the US produced a combined 570,400 ounces of platinum group metals last year.