Archive | Platinum Group Metals

Zimbabwe Unveils Plan for $12 Billion in Mineral Revenue by 2023 – by Godfrey Marawanyika (Bloomberg News – October 14, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Zimbabwe is targeting a fourfold increase in revenue from minerals by 2023 but an ambitious plan unveiled by Mines Minister Winston Chitando on Monday gave little detail on how the government would achieve this.

The policy document, known as the Strategic Road to the Achievement of US$12 Billion By 2023, sees gold exports at $4 billion and platinum at $3 billion as the government focuses on “value addition, enhanced investment within the sector, increased productivity and employment creation and increased exports and foreign-currency generation.”

However, the document makes no mention of an eagerly awaited overhaul of the country’s mining legislation that would be crucial in attracting foreign investment to the industry. Continue Reading →

Hunt for Palladium Riches Sends South African Miners Abroad – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – October 8, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Southern Africa is home to the world’s richest platinum deposits, but when Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. pondered how to invest its windfall profits it chose North America instead.

The acquisition of North American Palladium Ltd. is partly a bet on platinum’s sister metal palladium continuing to rally, while Implats Chief Executive Officer Nico Muller has also stressed the appeal of a relatively quick payback from low-cost, mechanized assets. However, the deal is also a geopolitical play as the Johannesburg-based miner seeks to balance exposure to its more volatile home region.

“The diversification into North America provides a hedge against some of the socio-economic, political and structural risks the company faces in South Africa and Zimbabwe,” said Christopher Nicholson, an analyst at RMB Morgan Stanley. Continue Reading →

Brookfield unit to sell North American Palladium in $1-billion deal – by Niall McGee and David Milstead (Globe and Mail – October 8, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Canadian palladium miner North American Palladium Ltd. agreed to a $1-billion takeover in an unusual deal that sees its biggest shareholder, Brookfield Business Partners LP, accept a discount in order to get the transaction done.

Toronto-based North American Palladium said Monday that it had reached a friendly agreement with South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. Public shareholders of North American Palladium will get $19.74 a share, exactly the level the shares closed at on Friday. Brookfield Business Partners and the institutions that invested alongside it, however, will receive only $16 a share for the 81-per-cent stake they hold – a 19-per-cent discount.

Brookfield appears eager to lock in its gains from a turnaround at the mining company and strong prices for the metal, which is used in vehicles to minimize toxic emissions. Takeover talks with Impala intensified in July and shares in North American Palladium ran up by 35 per cent over the next few months. Continue Reading →

[North American Palladium] With palladium rising to record highs, a $1-billion deal for a darling of the Canadian exchange – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – October 8, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Toronto-based North American Palladium on Monday presented shareholders with a $1 billion buyout proposal from a larger South African rival just as its namesake metal touches record high prices.

Under the deal, Johannesburg-based Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. struck an agreement to pay the private equity firm Brookfield Business Partners $570 million for its 81 per cent stake in the company, or $16 per share.

Meanwhile, it is offering $19.74 per share to minority shareholders, which the company called a 15 per cent premium on the 30-day weighted average price, but was exactly the price the stock closed at on Friday. Continue Reading →

South Africa’s Impala to buy North American Palladium for about $750 million – by Tanisha Heiberg (Reuters U.S. – October 7, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

(Reuters) – South Africa’s Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (Implats) (IMPJ.J) said on Monday it would buy Canada-based North American Palladium Ltd (PDL.TO) for about C$1 billion ($751.77 million), marking the miner’s first purchase outside of Africa.

Prices for Palladium XPD=, widely used in vehicle exhausts to reduce harmful emissions, have doubled from a low in August last year as tighter environmental regulations force carmakers to buy more of the precious metal.

“(The acquisition) not only signals our confidence in the prevailing platinum group metals (PGM) market but it also expedites our transition to a high-level multinational producer,” Implats Chief Executive Officer Nick Muller said on a media call. Continue Reading →

Sibanye plans to cut over 5,000 jobs in Marikana restructuring (Reuters U.S. – September 25, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater (SGLJ.J) said on Wednesday it planned to cut around 5,270 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce, as it restructures its loss-making Marikana operations that it acquired this year.

Sibanye said the restructuring was aimed at returning the mine to profit and protecting its remaining shafts, driving its share price up 6% to 21.28 rand.

Sibanye took over the mine as part of a deal to buy out struggling platinum miner Lonmin. It first proposed buying Lonmin in 2017, in a deal touted as the only way to save its 29,000-strong workforce. Lonmin had previously planned to close shafts and cut around 12,600 jobs. Continue Reading →

Platinum giant wants to create new battery to replace cobalt, nickel demand – by Rupert Rowling and Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – August 14, 2019)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG — The world’s top platinum and palladium supplier has an answer to the electric-car boom that may pose a long-term threat to its biggest market: invent a new battery.

Anglo American Platinum wants to develop a lithium battery that uses platinum-group metals instead of cobalt and nickel. The aim is to create a new multi-billion dollar source of demand for the metals as electric vehicles reduce the need for traditional fuel autocatalysts.

Platinum miners have good reason to be worried. Electric-car sales are forecast to reach 56 million by 2040, making up about 57 percent of the overall car market versus 2 percent now, according to Bloomberg. Continue Reading →

Platinum Giants Bolster Positions Before Wage Talks Begin – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg/Yahoo – July 8, 2019)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — When the world’s biggest platinum miners sit down to hammer out a wage deal with one of South Africa’s most militant labor unions this week, they’ll hold two potentially winning cards in reserve: the cash and metal stockpiles to endure a strike.

Those buffers may prove crucial as Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Sibanye Gold Ltd. meet with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union on successive days from July 9.

While the producers will be conscious that AMCU led the country’s longest ever platinum mining strike in 2014, none can meet its demand for a pay increase of as much as 48% without undermining their businesses. Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay junior miner zeros in on platinum, palladium – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 3, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Benton Resources swings deal on two high-grade properties in northwest

A Thunder Bay gold exploration company is picking up two high-grade platinum group metals (PGM) properties, west of the city.

In two separate deals, Benton Resources announced July 2 of its impending acquisition of the Escape Lake Discovery from Rio Tinto Exploration Canada for $6 million, and the Thunder Bay North deposit from Australia’s Panoramic Resources for $9 million.

The two properties are 60 kilometres south of North American Palladium’s (NAP) Lac des Iles Mine and 10 kilometres east of NAP’s Sunday Lake property. The acquisitions should be finalized within the next two to three months. Continue Reading →

The Biggest Winner From a Rise in Precious Metals – by Adelaide Changole (Bloomberg News – June 19, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The world’s best-performing precious-metals stock is up almost 90% this year, and there are signs the rally could run even further.

Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. has outpaced 87 global peers with a market value of at least $1 billion in 2019, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The South African miner has benefited from surging palladium and rhodium prices, along with any weakness in the local currency, which bolsters its income from sales of dollar-based metals.

“The rally in palladium has been a big contributor,” coupled with a weaker rand, said Henre Herselman, a derivatives trader at Johannesburg-based Anchor Private Clients. Palladium, up 60% since August, makes a 30% contribution to Impala’s earnings, he said. The rand has dropped 5.4% against the dollar in 12 months. Continue Reading →

Biggest Union Kicks Off Platinum Talks With 48% Wage Demand – by Paul Burkhardt (Bloomberg News – June 14, 2019)

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — The biggest union in South Africa’s platinum industry demanded wage increases of as much as 48% from producers in the world’s top supplier of the metal, setting the stage for a tough fight in upcoming pay talks.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union wants minimum basic pay of 17,000 rand ($1,146) a month, President Joseph Mathunjwa said Friday. That compares with about 11,500 rand currently earned by the lowest-paid workers.

Key Insights

The opening salvo — issued to companies including Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Sibanye Gold Ltd., and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. — represents a substantial step up from the labor group’s years-long rallying cry for “a living wage” of at least 12,500 rand a month. Continue Reading →

World’s Top Platinum Miners Brace for ‘Substantial’ Wage Demands – by Felix Njini (Bloomberg News – June 13, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

South African platinum producers are preparing for significant wage demands as workers eye windfall earnings from a rally in metal prices.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union is meeting its members across the country’s so-called Platinum Belt this week, before presenting demands on Friday to seven producers, including Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Sibanye Gold Ltd., and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., Secretary General Jeffrey Mphahlele said.

The largest and most militant labor organization in the industry is aware that higher palladium and rhodium prices, plus a weaker rand, have boosted miners’ profits.

“Companies are performing well and we are confident they can accommodate our demands,” Mphahlele said. “Industry has been experiencing a boom in past years but nothing came to the workers.” Continue Reading →

Lonmin Investors Back Sibanye Deal to Create a Platinum Giant – by Felix Njini and Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – May 28, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Lonmin Plc investors backed the platinum producer’s takeover by Sibanye Gold Ltd., bringing to an end a company that was once part of a business empire synonymous with British capitalism in Africa.

Sibanye’s all-share takeover was backed by 99% of votes cast at a meeting in London, passing the required threshold of 75%. The vote is a triumph for Sibanye Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman, a prolific deal-maker who faced investor concerns that his offer undervalues Lonmin’s assets. Sibanye shareholders approved the deal earlier in the day.

Froneman, who had already seen off a challenge to the deal from Lonmin’s biggest labor union, will gain access to his rival’s processing facilities and some of the lowest-cost shafts in the industry. Continue Reading →

Army Puts Backers Off Multibillion-Dollar Zimbabwe Platinum Mine – by Felix Njini, Antony Sguazzin and Loni Prinsloo (Bloomberg News – May 15, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

A plan to build Zimbabwe’s biggest platinum mine at a cost of about $4 billion is floundering because a military stake in the project has deterred potential backers, according to people familiar with the funding discussions.

The African Export-Import Bank has the mandate to raise money for the mine, a joint venture between Russian and Zimbabwean investors. While the bank provided $192 million of its own funds, meetings in the past year with investors including South Africa’s Public Investment Corp., the continent’s biggest fund manager, failed to bring additional commitments, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.

Zimbabwe has the world’s third-largest reserves of platinum, palladium and related metals such as rhodium — which typically occur together — after South Africa and Russia. President Emmerson Mnangagwa is trying to lure investment to the country to help rebuild the economy, devastated during the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe. Continue Reading →

Platinum Miners Brace for Labor Clash in New Ramaphosa Test – by Felix Njini and Paul Burkhardt (Bloomberg News – May 14, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

When the world’s biggest platinum miners sit down with labor unions this month to negotiate a three-year wage deal, it could prove an early test of Cyril Ramaphosa’s new presidency in South Africa.

An amicable outcome will bolster Ramaphosa — the former mine union leader and one-time platinum company investor — as he seeks to lure foreign investors. However, tensions are fraught on both sides and there are fears the labor unions will go on strike, which could send platinum prices soaring.

“Ramaphosa’s key priority is to send a positive signal on reforming the economy, but there will be high levels of instability after the election,” said Andre Duvenhage, professor of politics at North West University. “The platinum belt is probably the most volatile environment in South Africa.” Khusela Diko, a spokeswoman for Ramaphosa, declined to comment. Continue Reading →