BusinessLive reports that Lonmin executives said on Wednesday with the publication of its annual results that it was likely for the last time that the world’s third-largest platinum producer would do so, as it had reached the end of the road.
A rare annual profit and increased levels of cash were announced, but they were simply not enough to justify its continued existence.
Lonmin is the subject of a friendly all-share takeover bid by Sibanye-Stillwater, which will create the world’s second-largest platinum producer and a leading source of platinum group metals in a deal which should close early in 2019.
Lonmin CEO Ben Magara said shareholders would vote on the deal early in 2019. “Lonmin and its predecessor Lonrho have a long history in this part of the world. They started producing platinum from 1968 and it’s a painful thought that it’s coming to an end,” he said.
Lonmin pulled every possible lever to improve cash flow in the year to end September 2018, draining as much metal from its processing pipeline as it could. It reported pre-tax profit of $68m compared with a $1,17bn loss the previous year, including $1,05bn of impairments against its assets.
Lonmin has laid off 8 000 people since 2014 as it put high-cost mines on care and maintenance and would continue to cut jobs as it shut unprofitable shafts.