Sibanye's acquisition of palladium mine Stillwater may be the mining house's saving grace as its platinum assets in South Africa remain under pressure. Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman said on Monday that he would have to shut down some of the unprofitable Rustenburg mines should low platinum group metals prices persist. He said production would be cut at the Rustenburg mines by between 200,000 and 300,000 platinum ounces, equivalent to two or three shafts, which will be placed on care and maintenance by September or October. The Rustenburg mines employ about 15,000 workers. Platinum prices have only increased by 5.3% this year while sister metal palladium has rallied by 23.2%.This makes the Stillwater deal — which some investors had reservations about given that the price was equivalent to Sibanye's market capitalisation — well placed for at least the next two years to help create a buffer for Sibanye's South African platinum assets. Froneman, who defended the price of the deal, said Stil...

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