JOHANNESBURG - Trade union Solidarity is positive about platinum producer Lonmin's R5-billion acquisition by Sibanye-Stillwater, announced on December 14.
Lonmin, one of the world’s largest platinum producers, has been under severe pressure this year owing to capital structuring and liquidity concerns. Low platinum prices and increasing challenges in the mining industry have given rise to increasing costs and low profit margins resulting in many retrenchments in the industry over the past 12 months.
After the acquisition, Lonmin shareholders’ holding in the overall Sibanye-Stillwater Group will be 11.3%, while Sibanye will hold the balance of 88.7%. The deal should be completed by the second half of 2018.
Solidarity mining industry deputy general secretary Connie Prinsloo said this deal would make a positive contribution towards economic growth and stability in the sector in the longer term, which in turn would further sustainability.
"We trust that new job opportunities would be created under [the] leadership of Sibanye-Stillwater’s management, which would hopefully keep the retrenchments Lonmin intended to implement over a period of three years in check or would reduce the number of retrenchments,” he added.
Prinsloo further noted that Solidarity supported initiatives that created job opportunities, achieve job security and promote sustainable economic growth or create the opportunity for such.