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Sibanye Gold sees stronger Q2 output leading to improved H2'19

Sibanye Gold Ltd. said Aug. 8 that a significant improvement in second-quarter operational results was expected to carry through to the second half of 2019.

Gold production from the South African operations in the second quarter was 155,956 ounces, 46% higher than the first quarter, after the end of a five-month strike.

The company's South African gold output is expected to normalize in August, with forecasts for the second half of 2019 of between 514,000 ounces and 546,000 ounces, significantly higher than 262,904 ounces produced in the first half.

All-in sustaining costs, or AISC, for the second half are expected to lie in the range of US$1,350 per ounce to US$1,450/oz as production builds up, compared to US$2,110/oz in the first half, as previously reported.

The company said mined platinum and palladium production from the U.S. PGM operations rose 18% from the first quarter to 153,874 ounces, while AISC decreased by about 13% to US$723/oz. This brought production for the first half to 284,773 ounces, and an AISC of about US$774/oz. The company flagged significant improvement in production and costs for the second half amid a clawback of production from the first quarter.

The commissioning of the second electric furnace in the first half of the year enabled the delivery of record throughput of mined and recycled material from the Columbus Metallurgical Complex for the half-year. The recycling operation fed an average of 26.3 tonnes of material per day over that period, an 11% increase year-on-year increase.

Second-quarter platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold PGM production from Sibanye's South African operations, excluding Marikana, rose 8% on a quarterly basis to 283,526 ounces and AISC fell 2% to about US$869/oz. It forecast full-year output to be at the upper end of guidance of 1 million ounces to 1.1 Moz with AISC of US$922/oz to US$974/oz.

Sibanye will release its full interim results Aug. 29.