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Sibanye-Stillwater considers potential restructuring of its Kloof 4 gold shaft due to 'ongoing losses'

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(Kitco News) - Mining and metals processing group Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE: SBSW) today announced the initiation of S189 consultations regarding the possible restructuring of its SA gold operations due to ongoing losses over an extended period and operational constraints at the Kloof 4 shaft.

In a statement, the company said that the initiation of S189 consultations follows "numerous unsuccessful attempts' to address productivity issues and other operational constraints at the Kloof 4 shaft.

This has been compounded by the recent incident at Kloof 4 shaft, which caused significant damage to the shaft infrastructure.

"Together, these factors have resulted in a severe deterioration in productivity and have jeopardized the financial viability of the Kloof 4 shaft,' the company said.

The possible restructuring of the Kloof 4 shaft could potentially affect 2,389 employees and 581 contractor employees at Kloof 4 shaft, it added.

"Through the formal S189 consultation process, the company and affected stakeholders will together consider measures to avoid and mitigate possible retrenchments and seek alternatives to the potential cessation or downscaling of operations and associated services,' the company noted in a press release.

"We will engage with all relevant stakeholders in an effort to avoid job losses while attempting to limit the impact on the remainder of the operations and employees at the SA gold operations,' said Richard Cox, Executive VP and Head of the SA gold operations.

Kloof is an intermediate to ultra-deep level gold mine, situated in the West Wits Line of the Witwatersrand Basin, near the towns of Randfontein and Westonaria, approximately 60km west of Johannesburg, in province of Gauteng, South Africa.

Kloof was one of the three original assets acquired when Gold Fields International completed its unbundling transaction in February 2013. At 31 December 2022, Kloof had combined surface and underground gold mineral reserves of 3.4Moz and mineral resources of 25.9Moz. The mine produced 158,182 oz of gold in 2022 at all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of US$3,025/oz.

The Kloof mine consists of four producing vertical shafts. The reef horizon is accessed the deepest (46 level is currently the deepest working level) at the Kloof 4 shaft, approximately 3,432m below surface.

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