Anglo American in talks over SA platinum mines

Joseph Millis
SIBANYE Gold, the biggest producer of the yellow metal in South Africa, yesterday confirmed it was in negotiations with Anglo American Platinum over the purchase of the company’s Rustenburg platinum mines.

Its shares rose 5.51 per cent on the Johannesburg stock exchange yesterday, although the company warned that a transaction might not be completed.

While Anglo American Platinum is negotiating with others, the talks with Sibanye are at an advanced stage and the company has put off plans to list the business separately, Bloomberg quoted two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

“No further detail can be provided at this stage and it is possible that no transaction will be consummated,” Sibanye said in a statement.

Sibanye received a $350m (£230m) debt facility in August and has been interested in buying South African platinum mines as the gold producer seeks to diversify its asset base.

Pranill Ramchander, a spokesman for Anglo American, confirmed to Bloomberg that the company’s platinum unit was in talks with Sibanye. The company continues to pursue both a sale and a listing, he said, declining to comment further.

Meanwhile, fellow listed miner Glencore shares rallied with other mining companies yesterday on a strong recovery in some commodities prices and despite Standard & Poor’s overnight downgrade of its outlook for Glencore’s credit rating.

S&P said it wasn’t changing the miner’s investment grade credit rating, but revising its outlook on that rating to negative from stable.

“We would likely lower the rating on Glencore if we perceive reduced commitment to defending the rating or if commodity prices persist below our price deck or fall further, absent material offsetting factors,” it noted.

Shares in Glencore closed up 6.64 per cent at 130.95p after days of declines.

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