Gold was Neal Froneman’s first love. The Sibanye-Stillwater CEO has spent most of his working life in the gold mines and, after a brief detour into uranium, he jumped on board to lead Sibanye, which in 2013 took on old SA assets that Gold Fields would have otherwise left for dead. The gold operations are certainly past their prime and, though the company has invested in them and extended their lives, they continue their decline. Sibanye’s eye has since wandered, and the company has bought into several platinum operations in SA and paid a premium for the Stillwater mine in Montana in the US. The change was significant — instead of a gold stock it’s now much more a platinum group metals (PGMs) play. The results presentation for the year ended December 2018 showed how, in 2017, gold accounted for 59% of the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. But in 2018, it accounted for less than 16%. Froneman stresses that he still likes gold. But the operations h...

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