As the strike at Sibanye-Stillwater’s gold mine enters the third month, the company has disclosed that its core profits have fallen by a third in the first quarter of the year as its discussion with striking workers remains at an impasse.
Sibanye’s Q1 gold output reduced by 45% to about 137,000 ounces while the share price dropped by 7.25% to close at R49.92. Similarly, its first-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation fell 31% to R13.7 billion amid operational challenges at its US palladium and platinum mines.
The two major unions, AMCU and NUM have thus far turned down two offers of 700 and 850 rands minimum wage for entry-level category 4 mine workers, insisting that the company pays 1000 rands. Sibanye Stillwater has declared that the company has made its final offer and that paying what the unions are asking will balloon its wage bill to 2.5 billion rands. While speaking on Business Edge, James Wellsted of Sibanye-Stillwater’s Corporate Communications unit alleged that the union leaders were fighting a selfish cause as polls taken by the company show that most workers do not support the strike and are satisfied with the figure the company has offered.
The mining conglomerate adds that despite the prevalent uncertainties across the world, the prices of precious metal prices remained stable and the company saw a strong performance from its South African platinum group metals operations.