They’re called the green metals, the transition materials or the decarbonisation commodities. And as the world prepared this week for the landmark COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, two SA miners announced transactions at opposite ends of the green transition.

First, Sibanye-Stillwater’s Neal Froneman continued on his battery metal buying spree, announcing the $1bn acquisition of the Santa Rita nickel and Serrote copper mines in Brazil. Just five years ago, Sibanye was a gold miner. Then it bet big on platinum group metals (PGMs), buying into the sector in the US and SA with spectacular success. Now it is moving swiftly into the raw materials — lithium, nickel and copper — needed to power battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and  renewable energy storage...

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