The historic flooding of the Yellowstone River affected a widespread region of Sibanye-Stillwater surrounding its US PGM operations.
“Following initial assessment of the impact of the flooding on our US PGM operations, we are pleased to report that despite widespread damage to infrastructure and personal property across the region, our mining and metallurgical operations were largely unaffected.
Several bridges in the vicinity of our Stillwater mine were however damaged during the flooding and sections of the primary access road from Nye to the Stillwater mine have been severely eroded, restricting access to the mine and requiring rerouting of water, tailings and other piping,” CEO, Neal Froneman said.
Remediation work on the east/west access bridge within the Stillwater mine complex has begun and should be completed in approximately four weeks. It is estimated that operations at the Stillwater mine will remain suspended for approximately 4-6 weeks before safe access to the mine is restored and production can resume.
Management continues to engage with all relevant authorities and affected stakeholders to prioritise the repair of the damaged bridges and roads and to remediate the impact of flooding of the Stillwater river within the Stillwater mine complex. The Stillwater mine accounts for approximately 60% of mined production from the US PGM operations.
Access to the East Boulder mine and Columbus metallurgical facilities remains intact and both facilities continued operating during the flooding events.
“We have been encouraged by the positive response to the flooding by the entire community and are proud of the key role our employees have played in supporting those worst affected during this difficult period. We will continue to work with the local authorities and other stakeholders to fast-track the recovery of the region and look forward to resuming operations at the Stillwater section in due course,” Froneman said.
Sibanye-Stillwater is a multinational mining and metals Group with a diverse portfolio of mining and processing operations and projects and investments across five continents. The Group is also one of the foremost global PGM autocatalytic recyclers and has interests in leading mine tailings retreatment operations. For more information, visit their website.