Lonmin asks investors for £270m amid price squeeze

Platinum miners in Marikana, South Africa. Picture: Getty
Platinum miners in Marikana, South Africa. Picture: Getty
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Platinum mining giant Lonmin announced a $407 million (£270m) cash call on shareholders yesterday to cater for “potentially adverse” external factors, including a continuation of the metal’s weak pricing environment.

The plea came as Lonmin revealed a $143m loss in the year to end-September, compared with a $46m profit a year ago.

The group said the $369m net proceeds of the rights issue would also be used to implement an ongoing cost restructuring that has seen 3,136 workers go from the company in the past six months, and to cut ­borrowings.

Lonmin said sales of platinum, whose uses range from catalytic converters for motor engines to jewellery, totalled 751,560 ounces in the year – the highest since 2007.

Ben Magara, chief executive of the company, whose operations are overwhelmingly in South Africa, said 2015 had been “a tough year… given the adverse pricing environment and the imminent maturity of our debt facilities in 2016”.