JOHANNESBURG – Sibanye-Stillwater reports that, after an initial slow return to work and start up at the Marikana operation, the SA PGM operations are ramping up well following the December 2021 break with Khuseleka shaft (post the management-imposed safety suspension) and Thembelani shaft (temporarily suspended due to an increase in COVID-19 infections among supervisor and senior management),both resuming production as planned during January 2022.
The SA PGM operations continue to perform well, with production for 2021 of 1,896,670 4Eoz (including attributable ounces from Mimosa), 3% above the upper level of guidance of 1,850,000 4Eoz and production of 967,678 4Eoz for H2 2021, 8% higher than for H1 2021.
SA PGM operations’ production guidance includes 50% of the attributable Mimosa production, although AISC and capital excludes Mimosa due it being equity accounted. SA PGM guidance excludes production and costs from the K4 and Klipfontein projects.
Mined PGM production from the US PGM operations of 570,399 2Eoz was at the lower end of revised guidance of 570,000 2Eoz, primarily due to the ongoing impact of the safety incident in June 2021, with production of 272,098 2Eoz for H2 2021, 9% lower than for H1 2021.
The implementation of further rail safety enhancements following the safety incident in June 2021 continued to restrict production from the Stillwater West mine, which remains constrained by Mine Safety and Administration stop orders.
Additionally, production from the East Boulder mine was impacted by electrical outages in December 2021 as a result of severe weather conditions. Pleasingly, the refurbishment of the bridge that crosses the Stillwater river from the Stillwater East mine to the concentrator was completed in December 2021 and is now fully operational.
The Recycling business had another strong year, with recycled PGM sales of 795,000 3Eoz for the year, within guidance of 790,000 to 810,000 3Eozs. Higher feed rates during H2 2021 facilitated a meaningful drop in inventories from the recycling operations which had built up during H1 2021.