Breaking Ground

Sibanye-Stillwater’s growth is underpinned by its CARES values and vision, and its purpose is to improve lives through its mining operations

Since its initial establishment in 2013, Sibanye-Stillwater has grown from a single-commodity SA gold mining company to an internationally competitive, diversified precious-metals producer of gold and the full suite of platinum group metals (PGMs). The group is now the world’s largest primary producer of platinum, the second-largest primary producer of palladium, and a top-tier gold producer, ranking third globally on a gold-equivalent basis, as well as a significant producer of rhodium and other PGMs and associated minerals, such as chrome. It is also a leading global recycler of spent PGM catalytic-converter materials.

With that growth comes an even greater responsibility to ensure that the group consistently delivers on its stated purpose to ‘improve lives through our mining’, while strengthening its position as a leading international precious-metals mining company, and ensuring it stays true to its vision to create superior value for all its stakeholders.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s vision is ‘superior value creation for all of our stakeholders through responsible mining and beneficiation of our mineral resources’. The company believes its mining improves lives, and its CARES values – commitment, accountability, respect, enabling and safety – underpin the way it does business.

A strategic focus for Sibanye-Stillwater is on ensuring the safety of its employees

Sibanye-Stillwater’s strategy is to strengthen its position as a leading international precious metals mining company by building a values-based culture, ensuring safe production and operational excellence, deleveraging its balance sheet, addressing its SA discount, based on the strengthened equity rating pursuing value-accretive growth. All of this is, of course, pulled together by embedding environmental social governance excellence as a way the group does business.


The group aims to strengthen its position by focusing on six key areas.

Firstly, it aims to build a values-based organisational culture. Sibanye-Stillwater has appointed solid leadership in establishing key roles to ensure accountability within its operations. This is supported by an ongoing culture-growth programme, which has gained substantial psychological adoption from the company’s leadership.

The second strategic focus is on ensuring a safe operating environment and operational excellence. Safety is critical to the group’s social licence to operate, particularly given the dynamic mining operating environment. After an unprecedented regression in the first half of 2018, Sibanye-Stillwater has made substantial progress in enhancing its safe-production effectiveness, with its SA gold operations recently achieving 13 million fatality-free shifts over a two-year period without fatal incidents – a virtually unheard of achievement in deep-level mining – and the SA PGM operations recently marking a milestone of 4 million fatality-free shifts.

The group’s rapid growth since 2016 – and particularly the acquisition of the Stillwater operation in Montana, US – resulted in the group carrying debt on its balance sheet, which was perceived as a financial risk by the market. However, that growth, combined with the integration of those operations and the group’s improved operational and safety performance, has seen the group deleverage significantly in 2020. It now has a robust balance sheet, and despite the COVID-19 disruptions, which saw mining operations across SA temporarily cease due to the national lockdown, the group’s results for the six months ended June 2020 displayed strong earnings, with cashflows from operations reducing the group’s net debt to adjusted EBITDA to 0.55x, well below its 1x target.

By delivering on these goals, and by engaging with stakeholders in SA (such as regulators, government, organised labour and communities), the group aims to address its local discount, which will allow it to participate on an equal footing with global markets. That, in turn, will enable it to further its strategic growth, underpinned by a strengthened equity rating, allowing it to continue delivering value to its stakeholders.

The group has committed to embedding ESG excellence in every aspect of its operations

Finally, to achieve a sustainable business, the group has committed to embedding ESG excellence in every aspect of its operations. ESG has become increasingly critical in how companies are evaluated by all stakeholders, and Sibanye-Stillwater understands that exemplary ESG credentials are necessary to sustain a licence to operate and to maintain a strong investability rating. It has made meaningful progress in improving the quality of its relationships with government, unions and social advocacy groups through robust, honest, respectful and sincere interactions structured to secure the sustainable future of the company and delivery of ongoing value to all its stakeholders. This is a significant focus and it is supported by the group’s CARES values.

The group’s CARES values are commitment, accountability, respect, enabling and safety.

Commitment reflects its devotion to operational excellence; to the highest standards of corporate governance; to ethical conduct and regulatory compliance; the protection of life, health and the environment; and to adhering to industry and international disclosure and reporting standards.

Sibanye-Stillwater holds itself accountable to its stakeholders for delivering on its key operational targets and strategic objectives; for identifying, managing and mitigating the risks inherent in its business; and for maximising the return on all of the capital it deploys.
The group’s CARES values extend to respecting each other, treating people fairly, valuing those from all backgrounds, promoting and supporting diversity and seeking to help all employees realise their full potential. It also aims to enable sustainable operations by engaging with stakeholders, empowering employees and ensuring communities benefit from its operations. Finally, Sibanye-Stillwater prioritises safety, emphasising the health, safety and well-being of its people.

These values are the fundamental roots of the group’s organisation, which provide a solid basis for the way the company does business. Its operating model is graphically represented by the Umdoni tree, with the trunk representing its people (the critical support of the business), the leaves symbolising stakeholders, and the seeds and fruits signifying the value that Sibanye-Stillwater brings to those stakeholders through sustainable delivery on its core operational competencies, safety, tons, quality and costs.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s leadership understands that it is only by having a profitable, and therefore sustainable, business that the group will be able to deliver value to its stakeholders.

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