Sibanye to forge ahead with platinum acquisitions – by Allan Seccombe (Business Day Live – November 30, 2015)

SHAREHOLDERS in Sibanye Gold and Aquarius Platinum will early next year decide the fate of two large platinum transactions pursued by SA’s largest domestic gold producer.

Sibanye has launched back-to-back bids for the Rustenburg mines owned by Anglo American Platinum and the whole of Aquarius Platinum, which has the Kroondal mine next to the Rustenburg assets as well as the Mimosa joint venture with Impala Platinum in Zimbabwe.

Sibanye was forging ahead with both deals despite a weaker platinum price since they were unveiled in September and October, said CEO Neal Froneman.“As highlighted when these transactions were announced, whilst near-term economic headwinds and supply-side factors have resulted in downward pressure on metal prices, the long-term outlook for platinum group metals (PGMs) demand remains constructive, as evidenced by continued growth in auto demand globally,” he said.

Sibanye shareholders would vote in January whether to approve the Rustenburg purchase for an upfront payment of R1.5bn and at least R3bn later, while Aquarius shareholders would decide on Sibanye’s $294m bid around the same time, both companies said on Monday.

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