May 17, 2020

Sibanye Believes Platinum Opportunities are on the Horizon

Sibayne Gold
Anglo American Platinum
2 min
Sibanye Believes Platinum Opportunities are on the Horizon
South-African mining company Sibanye Gold believes the platinum industry is ready for consolidation. With the top three South African platinum producers...

South-African mining company Sibanye Gold believes the platinum industry is ready for consolidation. With the top three South African platinum producers dealing with lengthy and costly labor unrest, the company’s CEO Neal Froneman says the time is now.

Platinum companies such as Lonmin, Impala Platinum (Implats) and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) have been hit hard by a five-month strike by their employees, which has stopped production, allowing junior mining companies the ability of making a play for the platinum assets.

Froneman believes the platinum sector is 10 to 15 years behind the gold sector in terms of consolidation. The weak price environment complied with labor issues has put balance sheets under strain, forcing many companies to rethink strategies. The current state of platinum has created an abundance of possibility for acquisitions.

“Companies have made it clear that they plan to exit the platinum sector and are seeking responsible operators to take over,” said Froneman at a recent investor and stakeholder presentation in Randfontein.

Companies like Anglo American Platinum have suggested it could separate itself from its underperforming assets, which leads many spectators to believe Sibayne Gold could in the running to bring those operations back to life. The company has expressed interest in the past about buying struggling units to diversify into platinum.

“We believe the world is recovering and this will drive the aspect of platinum group metals (PGM) growth. The PGM market is robust,” he stated.

The platinum industry shares many similarities with the gold industry making it ripe for Sibayne’s South Africa-focused strategy.

The company is fully assessing opportunities to emerge into the platinum industry and will review any possible acquisition if it meets its internal investment criteria and the company’s dividend strategy.

“We are not desperate to run into platinum. We see it as an opportunity…but if it does not happen, we are happy where we are,” Froneman stated.

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Jun 29, 2021

Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations

battery metals
2 min
Vale’s $150mn investment in operations at Thompson, Manitoba will extend mine life by 10 years

Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.

Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel

The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.

“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.

“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”

Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba

Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.

“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.

“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”

The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history.  Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.

“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.

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