Sibanye-Stillwater restructures US PGM operations amid economic headwinds

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Sibanye-Stillwater restructures US PGM operations amid economic headwinds
Credit: © Reuters.

Sibanye-Stillwater, the renowned mining company, has announced a significant restructuring of its US operations specializing in platinum group metals (PGM), specifically targeting its Stillwater and East Boulder mines, along with the Columbus Metallurgical Complex. This strategic move is a response to the dual pressures of declining palladium prices and rising inflation rates, which have triggered the need for cost-cutting measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of these assets.

The restructuring plan, which aims to maintain production levels at the affected mines, will unfortunately result in the reduction of the workforce by approximately 100 employees, primarily at the Stillwater Mine. This comes in addition to the natural attrition of around 20 employees since early October. The plan also extends to around 187 contract workers who are anticipated to face job losses across various locations.

Despite these significant workforce reductions, Sibanye-Stillwater's leadership has provided assurances that the current mine and recycling production levels will not suffer a significant impact. The company, a global leader in the recycling of PGM autocatalysts and tailings retreatment operations, sees these difficult decisions as crucial steps to secure the future of its operations in an increasingly challenging economic environment.

CEO Neal Froneman has emphasized the importance of these measures for the viability of the company's operations, which are part of a broader strategy update initiated in July 2022. The strategy was reviewed due to market fluctuations and economic changes that have since affected the industry.

Sibanye-Stillwater's commitment extends beyond PGM mining, as the company has interests across five continents in various sectors, including battery metals mining and recycling within the circular economy framework. This restructuring is part of a larger effort to adjust the business strategy and navigate the turbulent economic conditions facing the mining industry globally.

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