Safety first: Sibanye-Stillwater vows to put employees before profits during pandemic

may not return to 100{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} production even as restrictions ease, CEO Neal Froneman warned
on Tuesday.

mine – which is the country’s largest industrial employer – will only ramp up
to full capacity when it is satisfied that safety protocols have been fully
observed, Froneman told shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting.

gain would not be put ahead of employees’ wellbeing, he stressed.

of coronavirus infections have been detected at several mines following the
easing of lockdown regulations. In
mid-May, Impala Platinum shut down its Marula Mine in Limpopo after finding several
positive cases of Covid-19
, while AngloGold
shut down its Mponeng mine, confirming 164 positive cases

have warned that containing the coronavirus – already difficult – is potentially
much more challenging in a mining environment.

remarks come as the country gears up for a shift to Level 3 of lockdown, which
will bring a further easing of restrictions.

are not even sure that we will ramp up to 100{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2}, and we will have to assess that
in the next phase of the ramp-up,” he said, adding that the
implementation of safety measures would be challenging at deep operations.

“What I have assured is that
we are not putting commercial issues ahead of the wellbeing of our

More case

Froneman said, however, that he
was satisfied with the safety protocols adopted by the company, including
quarantine facilities which have been prepared for workers. 

protocols implemented in South Africa were of the same standard as those used
in the US, where the company operates a PGM mine, he noted.

Mines in SA are required to adopt
the newly published Covid-19 safety guidelines which outline a range of
measures that must be adhered to by companies in order to protect employees
from the deadly virus.

said Froneman, more infections were likely.

are aware that we have not yet reached the peak. As time goes on, we will see
more and more cases. We need to be psychologically prepared for

On Monday, company spokesperson
James Wellsted said Sibanye had so far registered 10 positive coronavirus cases
at its local operations, and four have recovered fully.


As a global top producer of PGMs,
Sibanye-Stillwater also operates gold companies, and Froneman said although the
company had performed well in the first quarter, the second quarter is likely
to be impacted by the current conditions. 

is no doubt that second quarter would be very negatively impacted by the
lockdown,” he said, also noting the effect of weak PGM prices.

“We expect some price
weakness in the PGMs, and we need to see how our business is able to perform in
addition to circumstances imposed by Covid-19.”

Asked if the company was likely
to pay a dividend in the near future, Froneman said they had adopted a prudent
approach to dividend payment and that the current conditions had resulted in a
“complete reset of business” despite being initially confident at the
beginning of the year. 

At 13:15pm, Sibanye shares were
down 2.72{e93887a69cdd95d753f466db084bbc3aa0067124675315461d28d68a72842cc2} on the JSE at R33.32, after opening at R34.85.

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