JOHANNESBURG – Sibanye-Stillwater has provided an update regarding the commencement of operations following the safety-related interventions and stoppages that were announced on 15 December 2021. These interventions reinforce the Group’s top priority of safe production to ensure the safety and health of our more than 80,000 employees (including contractors). Its primary objective is to continuously reduce operational risk and the company will not hesitate to halt operations should elevated risk require appropriate remedial action.
Production from all Group operating segments remains within annual guidance despite the operational stoppages.
The SA gold operations (excluding DRDGOLD) performed within guidance. Production for 2021 of 27,747kg (892,084 oz), was above the lower level of guidance of 27,500 kg (884,000 oz), with production of 14,348kg (461,297 oz) for H2 2021, 7% higher than for H1 2021.
In early December 2021, production was suspended at Kloof shaft and at the Beatrix 1 and 3 shafts. Following the implementation of extensive safety audits and corrective measures, operations at Kloof 1 shaft recommenced in 2022, with a gradual start-up of production activities.
Operations at the Beatrix 1 and 3 shafts have not yet recommenced as audits and engagements with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy continue. It is anticipated that production from the Beatrix operation will resume towards the end of January 2022.
The operational restart in January 2022 at the remainder of the SA gold operations, post the seasonal break, has been consistent with plan.
Processing operations at Beatrix have been temporarily suspended for approximately three months from 28 December 2021 whilst rehabilitation work is undertaken on part of an active tailings storage facility (TSF). A limited portion of the Beatrix TSF requires precautionary reinforcement and buttressing work and a decision to cease deposition while this work is being completed has been taken. It is expected that this work will be completed by April 2022.
Underground mining activities will continue during this time and stockpiled ore will be processed over the remainder of 2022, once the TSF remediation has been completed.