Sibanye Gold Ltd., South Africa’s biggest producer of the precious metal, dropped the most this year in Johannesburg trading after operational problems caused output to decline in the first quarter.
The company produced 315,300 ounces of gold in the three months to March 31, 5.1 percent lower than the same period a year earlier and 30 percent down from the preceding three months, it said in a statement Monday. The shares dropped as much as 8.7 percent.
An underground fire, a conveyor stoppage that slowed delivery of ore at the Kloof mine and a series of processing-plant incidents caused the production decline, Sibanye said. Electricity shortages from state-owned supplier Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. also affected performance, it said.
While output picked up in March, the difficulties were enough to cause operating profit to fall to $63.6 million in the quarter, compared to $161.1 million in the same period in 2014.
The stock declined 7.7 percent to 25.99 rand at 2:53 p.m. in Johannesburg, the biggest intraday decrease since Dec. 1.