Sibanye Gold CEO Neal Froneman says the company intends to make a “material” acquisition in the platinum sector by the end of 2014. This move aims to help Sibanye to diversify its business, Froneman revealed.

The company has spent the last six months considering various options in the platinum sector, already engaging in meetings. Froneman said he would be “disappointed” if Sibanye has not made a platinum acquisition by the end of the year.

The platinum sector in South Africa is currently at a standstill, crippled by an ongoing wage dispute that started on 23 January. After almost three months, members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and platinum bosses from Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin have failed to reach a settlement, severely effecting production at these mines, which represent 40% of the world’s platinum supply.

Sibanye anticipates that some platinum producers may choose to relinquish their mines once the strike has ended. Sibanye has been the country’s best-performing gold producer in 2014 as a result of its successful wage negations with unions, bringing stability to the sector, and strategically cut costs. This provides Sibanye with the necessary potential to replicate this success in the platinum sector, said James Wellsted, a company spokesman.

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