Sibanye Stillwater was resilient during a year filled with challenges, says CFO Charl Keyter

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Despite facing various operational disruptions, Sibanye was able to turn a profit of R12.3 billion.

Sibanye Stillwater has delivered a half-year profit of R12.3 billion, the third highest six-month period profit achieved since the group’s initial listing in 2013. CFO Charl Keyter accredits the profit to the precious and green metals company’s stable production and exceptional cost control at its SA PGM operations. “The performance was also buoyed by strong commodity prices and a weaker than planned South African exchange rate.”

While this is a great milestone for the company, Charl says he is most proud of the company’s resilience during what has been a year filled with challenges. “We had wage related industrial action at our SA Gold operations which lasted for three months, as well as operational disruptions and severe flooding at our US operations. This obviously has a negative cash flow impact due to the high fixed costs.”

He adds that the flood at the Stillwater Mine, although not directly on the property, had the potential to cause more damage if it encroached onto the property, or even cause severe damage to the mine’s infrastructure. “We were fortunate that only some of our tailings lines were compromised, not damaged. Very good emergency preparedness and proactive steps by management averted a disaster and we could even provide support to local communities during this time. The team also implemented alternatives to ensure that we can safely resume production in a very short space of time.”

Despite these challenges, Sibanye delivered strong results, which culminated in a dividend of R3.9 billion. “When we embarked on our aggressive growth in the SA PGM sector, we realised that this commodity and geography diversification will provide the necessary strength to deal with demands from stakeholders,” Charl says.

Looking forward, Sibanye has further increased its stake at the Keliber Lithium project in Finland to 50.1 percent and has made an offer to minorities which will get them around 80 percent stake.

“The first half of 2022 was impacted by operational issues, but we look forward to a better second half of the year,” Charl concludes.

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