One of the highlights of reading the competent persons’ report on the Stillwater palladium and platinum assets bought by SA’s Sibanye for $2.2bn is not only the assurance that it is a quality asset worth more than the price tag, but the evocative names of areas around the mines and underground in Montana. The geological model showing the Johns-Manville (J-M) Reef, which contains palladium and platinum in a ratio of about 3.5 to 1, has features with names such as Frog Pond and Brass Monkey West, with bonanza blocks called "ballrooms" and the "Horseman Thrust Fault", while on the surface there is Sweet Grass County and Bear Tooth Mountain. Of course, the hard-nosed team at South African gold and platinum group metals (PGMs) miner Sibanye, led by veteran miner Neal Froneman, did not buy the Stillwater and East Boulder mines with their associated concentrators and the Columbia Metallurgical plant because they were entranced by the vivid imagery the names evoked. The US company mined and...

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