This week Sibanye-Stillwater (NYSE: SBSW; JSE: SSW) announced the $1 billion acquisition of the Santa Rita nickel mine and the Serrote copper mine in Brazil from London-based Appian Capital. In a webcast, Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman discussed the deal and the company’s broader strategy on green energy metals and developing a ‘climate change resilient’ business. What follows is a transcript of his introductory remarks.
“Core to our strategy is embedding ESG excellence as the way we do business and that’s evolved into a sustainability strategy, which I’ll cover in the next slide, and coming out of that sustainability strategy is really the strategic focus area of building an operating portfolio of green metals and related technologies, which of course is what this presentation is all about.”
“As I’ve said, the sustainability themes that underpin our ESG commitments are embedding human rights and ethics, developing a climate change resilient business, entrenching long-term economic sustainability and you can see all the sub aspects to that, and then of course being a data-driven and considered decision making business as well. What you can’t measure, you can’t manage.”
“But coming back to developing a climate change resilient business, there are two aspects to that, there’s a road to carbon neutrality, which is really embodied within plans on the assets we already own, and then important to climate change resilient business is building a portfolio of green metals and that is in a considered way driving our external growth strategy and of course all of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals feature in underpinning our ESG commitments.”
So just looking at our strategic growth track record, and where Santa Rita and Serrote fit in, important to note, that we established ourselves as an industry leading dividend payer through our gold business, our gold business still has a long life, we took a conscious decision after two years of planning to enter the PGM space and we made a number of acquisitions in South Africa, but more importantly, we externalized the, we started the externalization of Sibanye and changed the name to Sibanye-Stillwater when we acquired the Stillwater assets in 2017. That was a transformative transaction and I would suggest very similar in many respects to the acquisition of Santa Rita that was announced this morning, and I’ll tell you why a bit later.