Sibanye asks lenders for help amid platinum slump

Sibanye Stillwater said it’s talking to lenders about temporarily raising covenants after lower platinum-group metal prices weighed on earnings.

Last year, Sibanye joined South African rivals Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum in reporting a dramatic slump in earnings as prices for platinum, palladium, and rhodium tumbled.

With that trend continuing into the first quarter, the company said it’s looking at prepayment deals that involve selling future metals production to shore up its cash position.

We “continue to focus on the balance sheet with a view to increasing liquidity through a number of non-debt instruments such as prepays and streams and proactively engaging our lenders on temporarily raising our lending covenants,” Sibanye said in a statement on Friday.

First-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to R2.14 billion from R7.76 billion a year earlier, Sibanye said.

Last year, the company posted a $2 billion loss after taking an impairment against its US palladium mine.