October 19, 2016 / 7:07 AM / 3 years ago

South Africa's Sibanye clears final hurdle for Amplats mines acquisition

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 19 (Reuters) - South African miner Sibanye Gold has cleared the final regulatory hurdle for its $330 million acquisition of Anglo American Platinum’s Rustenburg mines, it said on Wednesday.

The company said the deal, first announced over a year ago, was on track for completion at end of the month after securing approval from the mineral resources department.

Sibanye, a spin-off from Gold Fields, is seeking to capitalise on a platinum sector shake-up following an unprecedented five-month strike in 2014 and lower platinum prices that have hit profitability and raised costs in much of the industry.

The deal, along with the $294 million takeover of Aquarius Platinum last year, will put South Africa’s second-largest gold producer by market value into the global top five producers of platinum group metals with annual output of more than a million ounces.

“This transaction is consistent with Sibanye’s strategy to grow its business in order to sustain its position as an industry leading dividend paying company,” Sibanye’s Chief Executive Neal Froneman said.

For Anglo American Platinum, the transaction allows it to focus its strategy on newer, mechanised and less labour intensive mines. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Mark Potter)

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