Gold Fields

Sibanye Gold, the new company split out of Gold Fields, started trading on Monday with the market giving the new entity that contains the troubled South African mines of KDC and Beatrix a lowish valuation. Holders of Gold Fields stock were given one share in Sibanye for each of their Gold Fields shares.

Sibanye shares closed at R13.70, having traded between R13 and R14.78 during the day. Analysts had guessed at prices anywhere between R8 and R53. Gold Fields, meanwhile, closed R14 lower at R91.81, a fall of 13.4 per cent from Friday’s close. Job done? Continue reading »

The recent news that Gold Fields was unbundling its troubled mines KDC and Beatrix into a separate entity, Sibanye, was cheered by investors, who sent the share price up over 7 per cent.

But since the announcement the gloss appears to have worn off. The share price has fallen to below what it was before the announcement, and rating agency Moody’s has downgraded the company a notch, to Ba1. Why? Continue reading »

There had been talk of mining splits in South Africa and now it’s happened – Gold Fields, the world’s 4th largest miner, said on Thursday it would spin off two of its more troubled mines into a new company, Sibanye Gold, created out of an existing subsidiary.

The move was cheered by investors, who promptly pushed Gold Fields shares up nearly 7 per cent on the day. Continue reading »

The effect of South Africa’s (mainly) mining strikes is being felt in company results and official data, one by one. On Tuesday it’s the big one – GDP – but on Monday it was the turn of miner Gold Fields, which reported a shrink in output and profits for the quarter.

The tone is set in the statement by chief executive Nick Holland: “The September quarter of 2012 will be remembered as one of the most challenging from an operational perspective…”, and continues in that vein for another 1,000 words. Continue reading »

South Africa once attracted economic migrants from across the continent. The tables are now turning. Growth in South Africa is 2.5 per cent, half that in sub-Saharan Africa and South African companies are now crossing borders to cash in on this growth, according to a Special Report from the FTContinue reading »

In most lines of work, being fired means just that. In South African mining, it can be just part of the negotiations.

Thursday is shaping up to be a big day in the mining stand-off that has rocked the industry following the deaths of platinum miners in Lonmin’s Marikana complex back in August. Continue reading »

Who will blink first in the South African mining standoff? On Tuesday, Gold Fields, the gold miner, delivered a “final ultimatum” to the workers still on strike at two of its mines, who face dismissal if they aren’t back at work by Thursday.

But one of the main unions said dismissals were “not the way to go” and urged mine bosses to withdraw the threat. Continue reading »

The Marikana miners may have agreed a settlement with Lonmin, but South African mining strikes are far from over. AngloGold Ashanti is now in the eye of the storm.

After closing its Kopanang mine after a strike that began last week with 5,000 workers, the company has now halted all South African operations as most of its 35,000 employees have joined the industrial action. Shares are down 3 per cent in Johannesburg on Wednesday. Continue reading »

Difficult days for South Africa. Not only is the mining industry in turmoil but the current account deficit has suddenly soared to 6.4 per cent of GDP, the biggest gap since 2008, according to data published on Tuesday.

Equity investors have been selling in droves – on Tuesday it was Impala Platinum’s turn to fall nearly 5 per cent on news of an unexpected wage demand. But fixed income fund managers have been pouring into the country, bouyed by South Africa’s imminent inclusion in a key Citigroup global bond index.

Were bond buyers to have a change of heart, it would spell trouble – and a decline in the rand. It fell 1 per cent early on Tuesday; though it later recovered a bit, trading was very volatile. Continue reading »

August has been a tough month for mining in South Africa, and it’s just got worse. Shares in Gold Fields, the gold producer, tumbled by as much as 8.4 per cent on Friday on the announcement of a wildcat strike by 12,000 workers in the company’s KDC mine, before recovering to down 2.84 per cent.

The company’s statement said that the strikes started on Wednesday night, and two night shifts as well as two day shifts have been lost. While a Gold Fields spokesman said there was “no evidence” of any connection to the strikes that have hit Lonmin, the platinum miner, which resulted in 44 deaths, it’s hard to see how miners at KDC would be unaffected by or oblivious to events that have dominated South African headlines. Continue reading »