Sibanye-Stillwater is a multinational mining and metals processing group with a diverse portfolio of operations, projects and investments across five continents. The Group is also one of the foremost global recyclers of PGM autocatalysts and has interests in leading mine tailings retreatment operations.
Sibanye-Stillwater has established itself as one of the world’s largest primary producers of platinum, palladium, and rhodium and is a top tier gold producer. It also produces and refines iridium and ruthenium, nickel, chrome, copper and cobalt. The Group has recently begun to diversify its asset portfolio into battery metals mining and processing and increase its presence in the circular economy by growing its recycling and tailings reprocessing exposure globally.
A Closer Look
To safeguard global sustainability through our metals
This purpose statement reflects our aspiration to make a positive social and environmental impact through the commodities we mine and produce (green metals) and how we do so (ESG embedded as the way we do business), not least through our role in contributing to decarbonising the global economy.
To be a leader in superior shared value for all stakeholders
This vision statement speaks to our conviction that responsibly-derived minerals (mining that minimises harm to people and the planet) are the source of significant economic, social and environmental benefit to society, both globally and locally.
Our iCARES values
- Innovation: We intentionally find new ways to do things better. We will all understand the need to innovate, develop innovators, encourage innovation, invite everyone to innovate; and we recognise innovation.
- Commitment: We are committed to the protection of life, health and the environment; to operational excellence, to high standards of governance, to ethical conduct and regulatory compliance, and to adhering to best practice industry disclosure and reporting standards.
- Accountability: We are accountable to our stakeholders for delivering on our key operational targets and strategic objectives; for identifying, managing and mitigating the risks inherent in our business; and for maximising the return on capital deployed.
- Respect: We treat people fairly, respect each other, value the richness of human diversity and support employees in realising their full potential.
- Enabling: We enable prosperous and sustainable operations by engaging with our stakeholders, empowering our employees in their professional development, and offering doorstep communities skills and resources to thrive post-mining.
- Safety: We acknowledge that working at depth, with heavy machinery, presents risks to life and limb; therefore we prioritise all practical, technical and behavioural measures to reduce safety and health risks to near zero.
This defines the impact we aspire to make in the global economy and in local societies influenced by our operations; it is the difference our business makes. It embraces our purpose, vision and values, as well as the core principles that guide our decisions, including our commitment to ESG excellence and shared value. Our Umdoni tree is at the heart of our strategic foundation and represents our fundamental approach to business.
The Sibanye-Stillwater Umdoni tree symbolises our approach to stakeholder capitalism. The roots of the tree hold our values, signifying that below the surface of success and competition, Sibanye-Stillwater iCARES.
Our strategic essentials are instrumental for us to compete on the global stage.
Ensuring safety and well-being
Prospering in every region in which we operate
Achieving operational excellence and optimising long-term resource value
Maintaining a profitable business and optimising capital allocation
ESG embedded as the way we do business
We have defined four strategic differentiators that represent the opportunities we have identified to be distinctive in the global minerals industry.
Recognised as a force for good
Unique global portfolio of green metals and energy solutions that reverse climate change
Inclusive, diverse and bionic
Building pandemic-resilient ecosystem
Platinum group metals’ (PGMs) demand is largely driven by autocatalysts, accounting for approximately 40% of platinum demand, 91% of rhodium demand and 87% of palladium demand.
Platinum (Pt) is mainly used in diesel vehicles. Substitution of palladium, however, with platinum in gasoline vehicles is being adopted by the market, a trend that is set to grow in the coming decade. Around 40% of platinum demand is accounted for by industry, e.g., catalysts in the chemicals and petrochemicals industries, and in the manufacture of glass.
Platinum jewellery, predominantly from China, accounts for the remaining demand. The use of platinum in “glass fibre reinforced materials in carbon reduction applications like vehicle lightweighting and wind power” may also prove important for demand.
Palladium (Pd) is largely an autocatalyst metal, which accounts for some 87% of its demand. Palladium is also used in chemicals processing. Rhodium (Rh) is also largely an autocatalyst metal, with autocatalysts accounting for 91% of its demand. Rhodium is also used in catalysts for chemicals processing.
Rhodium’s use in the manufacture of glass has declined significantly in recent years due to its high price, and has been replaced by platinum.
Gold (Au) has historically enjoyed a reputation for being one of the most precious and lustrous of metals; hence its use as a store of value and for jewellery. In the modern era, gold’s properties have been innovatively applied in a number of technological, industrial and medical applications. Gold is used in catalytic converters and in space travel to protect against radiation and heat. In the medical field, gold nanoparticles have become commonplace in rapid diagnostic testing. Amongst a range of interesting developments, gold nanoparticles are being used to improve the efficiency of solar cells; while research into the use of gold in fuel cell catalysts could also prove fruitful. Regardless of potential breakthrough applications for gold, it remains a sought-after and precious substance for people the world over.
Lithium (Li) and its compounds have been used in a variety of commercial applications since the 1920s. They have been used in the manufacture of high-temperature lubricants, high strength-to-weight alloys, heat-resistant glass and ceramics and, more recently, in the synthesis of the cathode of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).
The high energy-to-weight-ratio of lithium-ion batteries, the fact they can be recharged multiple times, and their ability to retain charge, make them ideal for EVs, and consumer electronics. They are also becoming important for large battery energy storage systems (BESS) to provide grid resilience for renewable electricity generation.
Two lithium chemicals are used in LIB synthesis: lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. Traditionally, LIB fabrication required the former but the latter is expected to become the dominant lithium chemical as nickel-rich LIBs become the preferred chemistry in EVs.
Nickel (Ni) has excellent physical and chemical properties that make it ideal for use in alloys – especially when used with chromium, or with iron (ferronickel), as well as with other metals, to produce stainless steels that are heat-resistant. There are at least 3,000 nickel alloys, including stainless steel, for use in a range of industries, to produce a range of goods, including vehicle crankshafts and axles, propeller shafts, scientific and surgical equipment, and pipelines. Nickel alloys are also used in a range of household products such as kitchen sinks, cooking utensils, and washing machines. Importantly for our green metals strategy, nickel alloys are used in PV solar panels and wind turbines (which use about two tonnes of nickel). Nickel has excellent properties: a high melting point (1,454 oC); can withstand extreme low temperatures; resistant to corrosion and oxidation; good catalytic properties; fully recyclable.
Nickel is an essential component in Li-ion batteries, enabling batteries to store greater amounts of energy and to reduce the use of more expensive cobalt. However, around 68% of nickel demand still comes from stainless steel production; whereas batteries capture under 15% of the nickel market production. This balance is forecast to change dramatically in the coming decade when demand is expected to be driven increasingly by the EV sector. With global EV sales expected to exceed 30 million by 2030, demand for nickel (like lithium) is expected to grow. Further, producers will be pressured to reduce the carbon footprint of nickel; giving an advantage to mines and refineries that offer reliable, socially and environmentally assured supply of product.