Stillwater: Merger with South African company is complete

Stillwater: Merger with South African company is complete

Stillwater Mine

The Stillwater mine in Nye is being purchased by the South African company Sibanye Gold, assuming the sale goes through. 

Stillwater Mining Co. announced Thursday that it has completed its $2.2 billion merger into a South African firm, Sibanye Gold Ltd.

The company’s stock is being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, and stock holders will receive $18 per share for the transaction, Stillwater officials said in a news release.

Shareholders will receive instructions on how to cash out by Computershare Trust Company N.A., the transfer agent for the transaction, according to Stillwater, Montana’s largest mining company.

“I am grateful for the hard work of our employees and management team in building this great company. Stillwater’s leadership team is well positioned for success as part of Sibanye,” Stillwater CEO Mick McMullen said in a release.

With the sale completed, Sibanye will now be a partner in Stillwater’s Good Neighbor Agreement with the Northern Plains Resource Council, a Billings-based conservation group.

The 2000 contract required Stillwater to inform communities of any activity that could affect communities surrounding the East Boulder and main Stillwater mine, according to Northern Plains.

“We will continue to work with (Stillwater Mining), and new owners, Sibanye Gold, to enforce the high standards of the GNA,” said Jerry Iverson of Big Timber, chairman of the Good Neighbor Agreement task force.

“Sibanye Gold takes over the Stillwater and East Boulder mines at an important time. Both mines will need to expand storage facilities for tailings and waste rock in the near future. It is extremely important that those facilities are developed in a way that protects our communities and the water quality of Stillwater and Sweet Grass counties,” Iverson added in a written statement.

The two companies announced the merger Dec. 9. Last week, the proposal was approved overwhelmingly in votes by shareholders of both companies.

Stillwater, which has about 1,400 employees in south central Montana, is now the U.S. branch for Sibanye. The company’s CEO, Neal Froneman, said he likes Stillwater operations and does not plan cutbacks.

He has also indicated that he would like to move the company’s corporate headquarters from Littleton, Colo., back to Montana.

Shares of Sibanye opened at $7.58 Thursday, down about 3 percent from the previous day.

Stillwater is the only U.S. producer of platinum and palladium, which workers extract from two mines in the Beartooth valley. The company also operates a refining smelter in Columbus.


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