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Sibanye plans to resume dividends in H1'20 after cutting debt

Sibanye Gold Ltd. plans to resume dividends in the first half after reducing its debt burden, CEO Neal Froneman said Feb. 19 on a call following the release of its 2019 financials.

Sibanye last paid a dividend in 2016.

Earlier in February, Sibanye flagged a year-over-year swing to a profit for 2019.

Sibanye's average outstanding gross debt was about 12% higher year over year at 26.6 billion South African rand, or about US$1.9 billion. The company attributed the increase mainly to the fair value adjustment of 3.36 billion rand on the derivative portion of the convertible bond driven by the increase in the company's share price during 2019, which meant the convertible bond was worth more in the hands of the bondholders.

Sibanye CFO Charl Keyter said the company's immediate target was to reduce gross debt to US$1 billion.

Peter Major, Mergence Corporate Solutions' mining director, said Sibanye's decision to prioritize deleveraging over paying dividends despite shareholder pressure was "prudent."