On Wednesday, local markets enjoyed some strength on the back of a weaker rand. The gains were led by the Resource Sector and the Top 40 Index, which ended the day higher by 1.43% and 0.99% respectively. By the close of trade, the All-Share Index managed to post a gain of 0.79% to end the day at 53,680 which is the highest close since September last year.
On the company front, Gold Fields released an operations update for the March 2017 quarter. This indicated that attributable equivalent gold production for the quarter was 3% lower year on year at 497koz. All-in sustaining costs were 6% higher year on year at US$1,016oz and all-in costs were 13% higher year on year at US$1,114oz. The average US$ gold price achieved in the quarter was 2% higher year on year at US$1,216oz. The average Australian dollar for the quarter was 0.75, while the average South African rand for the quarter was 13.27. At South Deep production was negatively impacted by the two fatal accidents and three falls of ground in the higher grade section of the mine which has resulted in a deferral of mining higher grade areas. Consequently, gold production was 1,424kg (45.8koz), down 28% year on year. All-in costs were 26% higher year on year at R777, 497kg (US$1,821oz).
Impala Platinum released its quarterly production report for the quarter ended 31 March 2017, showing that gross refined platinum production decreased by 6.2% to 331 000 platinum ounces, compared to 353 000 platinum ounces in the prior comparable period. The decline in production during the quarter under review, compared to the prior corresponding period, is largely as a result of Zimplats material that was released from processing inventory during the quarter ended 31 March 2016. In addition, community disruptions were experienced at Marula and Two Rivers during the current quarter, which affected production.
Sibanye Gold announced that the requisite majority of Stillwater shareholders, resolved to approve the Sibanye acquisition, at the Stillwater shareholders’ meeting held on 25 April 2017. All major conditions precedent to the transaction have thus been met to the parties’ satisfaction. The completion of the Transaction remains subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain customary closing conditions set forth in the Merger Agreement. Although no assurance can be given as to if and when the transaction will be completed because it remains subject to such customary closing conditions, the parties expect the transaction to close on Thursday, 4 May 2017.
The total value traded for the day was R16.4bn.