Sibanye Gold Limited
- Company Name
- Sibanye Gold Limited
- Stock Symbol
- Class Period
- April 7, 2017 to June 26, 2018
- Motion Deadline
- August 26, 2018
- Eastern District of New York
The complaint charges Sibanye and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Sibanye operates as a precious metals mining company in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the United States.
The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse facts about Sibanye’s business and operations, including that Sibanye’s culture placed short-term profits over safety and, as a consequence, almost half of South Africa’s 2018 mining fatalities occurred in Sibanye’s mines. As a result of this information being concealed from the market, Sibanye securities traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, with its stock price reaching a high of more than $10 per share.
On June 13, 2018, The Mercury published an article, entitled “Mine puts profits before lives,” which stated that Sibanye supervisors forced miners to work in dangerous conditions. According to the article, “[t]he tragic deaths of four gold miners at a Johannesburg mine have been blamed on a shift manager, accused of putting profits before lives. Angry workers claimed that the manager forced them to work in an abandoned underground shaft where they choked to death from a combination of gas and poor ventilation.” On this news, the price of Sibanye shares fell nearly 3% to close at $2.56 per share on June 13, 2018.
On June 26, 2018, Bloomberg reported that “another worker was killed at [Sibanye’s] Driefontein operation in South Africa, bringing the total deaths at the company’s mines this year to 21,” or “nearly half of the 46 people reported killed at South African mines in 2018,” and that Sibanye “is already the subject of an investigation by the chief inspector of mines.” This caused the price of the Company’s shares to fall another 11%. Then on June 27, 2018, Bloomberg reported that Citigroup had cut their recommendation on Sibanye stock to neutral from buy, citing the Company’s track record from “an environmental, social and governance perspective, as well as the underlying investment risk that it holds.” According to Bloomberg, Citigroup was “concerned that Sibanye has taken ‘unsustainable short-term measures’ to boost earnings, including cutting capital spending and reducing management oversight, as well as mining high-grade pillars that were previously considered ‘too dangerous’ to exploit.” On this news, Sibanye shares fell more than 8% on June 27, 2018.