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After three ambitious takeovers in the past 12 months — of Stillwater in the US, a joint venture with DRDGold to exploit gold and uranium tailings dumps and a proposed all-share takeover of troubled Lonmin — Sibanye-Stillwater has built up a portfolio of assets in different geographies, resources and types of mining. This is very different from the way in which SA gold and platinum miners used to expand, by sinking new deep-level shafts. Instead, Sibanye-Stillwater has chosen to buy existing assets with short-term or turnaround potential. In the company’s latest annual report, CEO Neal Froneman says uncertainty about policies and regulations in SA has made it complex to commit to projects that have long lead times and are capital-intensive. Earlier this year, Sibanye bought North American platinum group metals (PGM) producer Stillwater for US$2.2bn. It is also selling 100% of its West Rand tailings retreatment project to DRDGold in exchange for 38% of DRDGold’s shares, with an optio...

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