Sibanye an early casualty of Mining Charter 3
The government has introduced shock new rules, toughening existing requirements and implying hefty dilution for shareholders
Executives at Sibanye Gold, SA’s biggest gold miner, were in Los Angeles in the final stages of a road show with US bond fund managers in June, when a bombshell hit from back home. The government had introduced shock new rules requiring local mines to be 30% black-owned in perpetuity, toughening existing requirements and implying hefty dilution for shareholders. South African stocks tumbled and bond yields rose that day. The measures in Mining Charter 3 put at risk funding for Sibanye’s $2.2bn acquisition of Stillwater Mining of the US, the biggest foreign takeover by a South African mining company in 16 years. "We had to hold back the financing, find out what the charter meant and rebrief all our potential investors," CEO Neal Froneman says. "A number of institutional investors pulled out of the bond process, saying the risks in SA were just too high and it’s becoming uninvestable." Companies and investors say the new rules and uncertainty will starve the industry of much-needed ca...