South African mining company Sibanye-Stillwater Limited has lost $1.43 billion (R20.70 billion) in market value since it hinted at the possibility of closing three gold mines in the next decade due to low returns on investment.
As of press time, 2:15 PM (UTC), shares in Sibanye-Stillwater on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) were trading at $3.843 (R55.70), or 7.17-percent lower than its opening price for the day.
At this price, shares in the world’s largest primary producer of platinum were trading seven-percent lower than at its opening price of $4.140 (R60.00) for the year.
Billionaires Africa reported on July 16 that Sibanye-Stillwater may wind down its three South African gold mines in the next decade as it becomes harder to exploit aging assets and squeeze out profits from mines that are becoming ineffective and costly to run.
Spokesperson James Wellsted revealed that the mines have a finite life and some are more than 70 years old. Hence, it might not operate its Beatrix mine beyond five years, its Driefontein mine beyond 2030 and its Kloof mine three years after that.
Since the disclosure was made on July 14, Sibanye-Stillwater’s shares have declined by 11 percent from $4.331 (R62.78) to $3.843 (R55.70) per share as of press time, today, July 19.
According to research by Billionaires.Africa, the 11-percent decline in the miner’s shares on the JSE has caused its market capitalization to drop from $12.66 billion (R183.54 billion) to $11.24 billion (R162.84 billion) between July 14 and 19.
This translates to a $1.43-billion (R20.70 billion) value loss for Sibanye-Stillwater since the announcement was made.
Sibanye-Stillwater is one of the few South African gold miners left in the country with a diverse portfolio of platinum group metals.
The mining giant is the world’s largest primary producer of platinum, second-largest primary producer of palladium and third-largest producer of gold.
Froneman was appointed as the company’s executive director and CEO on Jan. 1, 2013.
Over the past seven years, he has led the transformation of Sibanye-Stillwater from a 1.5Moz South Africa-based gold producer into a leading precious metals miner with a global operating footprint ranking among the world’s top three platinum group metals producers.
Froneman was elected to serve as vice president of Minerals Council South Africa in May 2016.