A US court dismissed on Thursday a class action lawsuit against South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater (JSE:SGL) (NYSE:SBGL) and its chief executive seeking damages for alleged false statements related to a series of deaths at its mines in 2018.
The class action alleged that both the company and CEO Neal Froneman made false and misleading statements regarding safety standards at its operations, mostly in South Africa. It also claimed they violated US federal securities laws.
The court found that the plaintiffs failed to establish that the company and Froneman acted with fraudulent intent, or that any stock market losses were caused by the statements in question.
“The judgment validates our decision to oppose this class action,” Froneman said in the statement. “We take the safety of our employees very seriously and ensuring a safe and enabling work environment is a primary focus throughout the group.”
South Africa is home to some of the world’s deepest and most dangerous operations. Mine fatalities increased in 2017 for the first time in a decade as companies began having to go deeper into ageing shafts to access ore.