Platinum giant to enter battery space in ‘due course’ – by Michael McCrae ( – May 27, 2020)

(Kitco News) – Despite the rise of electric vehicles, platinum group metals still have a good 10 years in front of them, and an entry by the world’s largest primary producer of platinum, Sibanye-Stillwater, into the battery space is planned in “due course,” said CEO Neal Froneman. Froneman spoke to Kitco last week.

Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE:SBSW) timed its entry into the platinum group metals space perfectly by picking up discounted platinum assets in the mid-2010s.

Sibanye-Stillwater, which was spun out of South Africa’s Gold Fields in 2013, picked up Anglo American’s Rustenburg for $95 million in 2015. It also purchased South African platinum miner Aquarius for $294 million 2016.

Palladium and rhodium were some of the top-performing metals of the past decade due to tighter automotive emission standards. In 2016, palladium traded as low as $550 oz. It ended the decade well over $2,000 oz.

Froneman said Sibanye-Stillwater will record a production hit in Q2 due to South Africa’s COVID-19 restrictions. Froneman said mining activity was reduced from the beginning of the second quarter and into the month of May.

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