Sibanye-Stillwater is benefiting significantly from the higher palladium, and more recently PGM basket, prices.
The palladium price has increased by more than 75% from US$744/oz to over
US$1 300/oz, since the acquisition of Stillwater was announced on 9 December 2016.
The current 2E PGM basket price of US$1 190/oz is 19% higher than the average 2018 2E PGM basket price of US$996/oz.
Higher basket prices, together with increased production due to initiation of mining operations in a second stope block at Stillwater’s Blitz operation in October 2018, is expected to positively impact revenue at the US PGM operations.
2E PGM mined production for 2018 is expected to be approximately 590 000 oz, in line with guidance for the year.
The South African PGM operations continue to perform well, with 4E PGM production for 2018 expected to be approximately 1.17 Moz, ahead of published annual guidance and costs at the bottom end of guidance.
The robust palladium and rhodium prices (up more than 40% in US$ terms in 2018), together with the weaker rand:dollar exchange rate (depreciating by 16% during 2018), boosted the rand 4E PGM basket price by 19% during the course of the 2018 year to more than R15 700/oz, significantly
Approximately 74% of the Group’s adjusted EBITDA in the first six months of the year was derived from the PGM operations, increasing to 85% in Q3, 2018.
In Q3, 2017, PGMs contributed 49% of Group adjusted EBITDA.
The strategic benefits of the Group’s commodity and geographic diversification are clearly evident, with operational disruptions in the gold division offset by rising PGM prices and the solid operational performance of the PGM operations.