Sibanye Gold seeks alternative power sources

South Africa’s Sibanye Gold said on Thursday it had lost 125 million rand ($10 million) in revenue due to power cuts in the first half of 2015, underlining the impact of electricity shortages in Africa’s most advanced economy.

The lost revenue is only 1.3% of the company’s almost 9.8 billion rand in turnover, but Sibanye, which produces all of its bullion in South Africa, said the rising cost of power and inconsistent supply from state-run utility Eskom was forcing it to seek alternative, independent sources.

Sibanye said in February it aimed to build a 3 billion rand solar-powered plant to help weather the electricity shortages which force Eskom to impose rolling power cuts on a regular basis to prevent the grid from being overwhelmed.

“In addition to the solar power project ... investigations continue into independent power generation alternatives, including coal-fired power stations, and associated sources of reliable, quality coal,” the company said in its interim results statement.

Sibanye’s headline earnings per share for the period slumped to 19 cents, in the middle of the range it had flagged to the market, from 84 cents last year, because of operational issues in the first quarter that impacted production and the issue of additional shares as part of an acquisition.

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