Glencore decides to unload Lonmin stake

Swiss mining and commodities giant Glencore on Wednesday announced plans to unload its 23.9 percent stake in South African platinum producer Lonmin and distribute the shares to its own shareholders.

Glencore decides to unload Lonmin stake
Photo: AFP/File

Lonmin, which is listed on the London stock exchange, is valued at a total of more than £1.0 billion ($1.5 billion).
Glencore, which inherited the platinum producer when it swallowed up Xstrata two years ago, said it had decided to spin off its Lonmin stake which did not match its core assets.
"We have always regarded the stake in Lonmin as non-core," Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg said in a statement.
"As we do not trade platinum and have no special insight into the market, we believe that it is better to leave to our shareholders the decision as to how to manage the Lonmin shares," he said.
The Zug-based company had decided that unloading the Lonmin stake onto the market "at this time would not be in the best interests of its shareholders."
Instead, it said it aimed to "implement by way of a distribution in specie to Glencore shareholders," adding that this "will enable shareholders to manage the investment for their own account."
The divestment should be approved by Glencore shareholders at the company's general assembly on May 7th, Glencore said.
Once completed, the two Lonmin representatives on Glencore's board are expected to resign, it added.
Glencore also said on Wednesday that because of "volatile" market conditions, it aimed to slash its spending this year to $6.5-6.8 billion, down from the $7.9 billion announced to investors in early December.
The company said it would provide details on the cuts when it announces its annual results next month.

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At least 19 illegal miners killed at subsidiary of Swiss-based Glencore

At least 19 illegal miners were killed on Thursday after part of a copper mine collapsed in southeastern DR Congo, Swiss-based mining giant Glencore said.

At least 19 illegal miners killed at subsidiary of Swiss-based Glencore
Photo: AFP

The incident happened when two galleries caved in at a mine in the Kolwezi area operated by Kamoto Copper Company (KCC), a subsidiary of Glencore.

“Tragically there were 19 fatalities today, with possible further unconfirmed fatalities,” Glencore said in a statement, which said there had been recurrent problems with illicit mining on its concessions.

Other reports suggest the death toll could be higher. 

The Congolese site Actualite.CD reported at least 36 deaths.

“The illegal artisanal miners were working two galleries in benches overlooking the extraction area. Two of these galleries caved in,” the company said.

Glencore said KCC had observed a “growing presence” of illegal miners, with on average 2,000 people a day intruding on its operating sites.

“KCC urges all illegal miners to cease from putting their lives at risk by trespassing on a major industrial site,” Glencore said.

Illegal mining is common and frequently deadly in Democratic Republic of Congo, where safety is often poor and risk-taking high.

Figures indicating the scale of the problem are sketchy, given that many mines are illegal and remote.