Sibanye reports R38 billion loss following impairments

Sibanye Stillwater reported a R37.9 billion ($2 billion) loss last year after taking an impairment against its US palladium mine.

The company joined its South African rivals – Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum – in announcing a dramatic slump in earnings as the prices of platinum, palladium and rhodium declined sharply last year. 

Unlike its peers, Sibanye is also exposed to metals used in batteries for electric vehicles and said there’s been a “structural change” in the fundamentals of the nickel market.

Sibanye has identified cost-cutting measures that will save about R7.1 billion ($375 million), the company said Tuesday. The miner’s Stillwater palladium project accounted for 82% of its R47.4 billion ($2.5 billion) of impairments.

Last year, Sibanye said it was consulting with labour unions over operating changes that could impact about 7,000 jobs at its platinum and gold mines.

“We have already taken proactive steps to address loss-making production at unprofitable operations, and the group remains focused on ensuring the sustainability of our business and delivering on our strategical essentials through this period of low commodity prices,” Sibanye said in a statement last month.