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South African miner partners with Johnson Matthey to develop solutions for low carbon future

A leading South Africa-based miner has partnered with Johnson Matthey to develop solutions to promote a low carbon future.

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Illustration: South Africa's mining industry. ©Billionaires.Africa

A leading South Africa-based miner has partnered with Johnson Matthey to develop solutions to promote a low carbon future.

Sibanye-Stillwater, a leading mining company in South Africa, has entered into a strategic partnership with Johnson Matthey to identify and develop solutions to promote decarbonization. The partnership will encourage the efficient use of critical metals such as platinum group metals and metals used in battery technology. The focus will be on circularity and sustainability.

The companies stated in a press release that they will develop science and technologies for new products and markets and further support sustainable supply chains for a low carbon future, including clean hydrogen production and fuel cells. 

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman also mentioned that the partnership will further advance its commitment to creating a greener future by developing technologies for a better tomorrow. He said that “fast-tracking green technology and working together to achieve ESG excellence will enable us to continue to improve lives and the environment.”

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Johnson Matthey is a multinational speciality chemical and sustainable technologies company. 

Sibanye-Stillwater is a global precious metals mining company with a diverse portfolio of platinum group metals in South Africa and the United States. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company employs over 84,521 people as of 2019.

In the wake of the pandemic in 2020, a national lockdown that affected mines in South Africa forced the top platinum miner to declare “force majeure” on its contracts. All contractual agreements between Sibanye-Stillwaters and other parties were technically put on hold due to pandemics.

The pandemic drastically reduced demand for platinum from global car companies. Most partnered and pulled resources together with their various governments to tackle the virus outbreak in their countries. 

Nevertheless, the company said headline earnings per share for 2020 soared to 1,068 SA cents ($0.73), compared with a headline loss of 40 SA cents ($ 0.027) in 2019, Sowetan Live reported. This means revenue increased by 75 percent year-on-year to R127 billion ($8.65 billion). Basically, solid metals prices, a depreciated rand and higher output in 2020, were the main drivers of the recorded growth.

The company is also looking to drive an immediate expansion in gold mining. According to a statement reported by Daily Maverick, Froneman said: “At $13-billion market cap, we’re still not relevant. You really need to be a company with a market cap in excess of $20-billion to be relevant. And what relevant then means is that you attract better multiples, because you appeal to a broader shareholder/investor base.”

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Led by South African mogul Neal Froneman, Sibanye-Stillwater slashes output target for U.S. mines

The news comes nearly two months after it suspended operations in Montana for seven weeks.

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Neal Froneman.

Sibanye-Stillwater has reduced its output forecast this year for its palladium and platinum mines in Montana by more than 20 percent due to operational challenges caused by regional floods.

Sibanye-Stillwater is a multinational precious metal mining company based in South Africa. Under the leadership of CEO Neal Froneman, the company is involved in gold and base metals mining in South Africa and the Americas.

The South African mining company has reduced its output forecast for its palladium and platinum mines in Montana to 445,000 to 460,000 ounces in 2022 from 550,000 to 580,000 ounces earlier this year.

The decision to reduce its output forecast comes nearly two months after it suspended operations in Montana for seven weeks due to regional floods that disrupted operations on June 13.

Stillwater’s Montana mine accounts for ab08t 60 percent of the mined production from its U.S. PGM operations.

Aside from operational challenges, the decision to reduce its output forecast can be linked to expectations that the palladium market will swing into surplus by the middle of this decade, necessitating operational repositioning in the event of future price weakness.

“Hence, with our view of the palladium market plus the macroeconomic environment we are going to be dealing with going forward, we really need to reconsider what’s the best way of extracting value out of the assets,” Froneman said.

The company’s cautious approach may also result in the postponement of spending on its Blitz project in Montana, as Froneman stated: “It just doesn’t seem to make good or smart commercial sense to spend millions or billions on a capital project that will deliver into price weakness in the future.”

Shares in the mining firm closed trading on Friday at R40.68 ($2.52), 6.14-percent lower than their opening price on the local bourse, in response to the decision to cut its output forecast in the United States, while maintaining the output profile for its operations in South Africa.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s market cap is R115 billion ($7.1 billion) at current prices, while Froneman’s minority 0.074-percent stake in the company is valued at R85.1 million ($5.26 million).

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Led by South African Mouton family, PSG embarks on strategic restructuring

The South African Mouton family owns 24.5 percent of the company.

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Piet Mouton.

PSG Group, a South African investment holding founded and led by the Mouton family, has begun restructuring its business.

At the investment holding’s general meeting on Aug. 10, more than 95 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the company’s strategic restructuring, unbundling its stakes in the listed subsidiaries that it owns and delisting from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

As part of the restructuring, the group will unbundle its stake in subsidiaries such as PSG Konsult, Curro, Kaap Agri, and CA&S, as well as its 25.1-percent stake in Stadio, a tertiary education company.

Shareholders will not receive unbundled shares in these subsidiaries, and there will be no scheme consideration in the group.

PSG Group is a South African investment holding company, with positions in banking, education, finance, and consumer goods.

The South African Mouton family owns 24.5 percent of the company, which includes stakes held by family members like Petrus and Johannes Mouton, who serve as executives in the group.

The restructuring comes after years of attempting to close the gap between the holding’s JSE share price and its intrinsic worth, which management believes is far greater than its local exchange valuation.

The average discount between PSG and the firms in which it holds stakes is more than 40 percent, which can be attributed to investors preferring to invest directly in operating companies rather than through a holding corporation.

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South African billionaire Johann Rupert-linked SEACOM partners with BT Group

Seacom is privately funded and 75 percent African-owned.

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Johann Rupert. ©Billionaires.Africa

SEACOM has announced a strategic alliance with UK telecommunications service provider BT Group as it prepares to enter the African enterprise cybersecurity market.

SEACOM is a leading pan-African telecom services provider linked to South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert.

The partnership aligns with SEACOM’s plans to expand its portfolio of services targeting African businesses. By leveraging BT Group’s infrastructure and expertise, SEACOM hopes to secure its own infrastructure and deliver new networking and security solutions to African businesses.

“With SEACOM’s global network and local presence and BT’s global reach and expertise, we will be able to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of cloud, security, and connectivity services that are reliable, scalable, and at the cutting-edge of the industry,” Oliver Fortuin, CEO of SEACOM, said.

BT Group, which protects some of the world’s largest organizations from cyber threats through a dedicated network of security operations centers around the world, announced that SEACOM customers will gain access to BT Group’s Cloud Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) platform.

The SIEM platform provides real-time visibility and monitoring across an organization’s entire IT environment, acting as an additional layer of security to SEACOM’s existing ICT solutions.

Seacom, which bills itself as Africa’s most extensive ICT infrastructure provider, is privately funded and 75-percent African-owned, with Rupert’s investment holding Remgro owning 30 percent of the company.

South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe owns a 15-percent stake in the pan-African telecom services provider through his financial services conglomerate, Sanlam.

Jubilee Holdings, a Kenyan investment holding backed by Aga Khan IV (Shah Karim al-Husayni), increased its stake in SEACOM from 8.8 to 18.8 percent earlier this year after acquiring an additional 10-percent stake in the company.

According to Nizar Juma, chairman of Jubilee Holdings, the transaction will strengthen the company’s ability to diversify its investment priorities across major sectors of the economy.

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