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Lonmin appoints CFO as interim CEO

CEO Ian Farmer is undergoing treatment for an undisclosed illness and won't return to work for several months

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Lonmin appointed its chief financial officer as interim chief executive on Friday as CEO Ian Farmer undergoes treatment for an undisclosed illness and a week after police killed striking miners at its South African site.

CFO Scott will take over as CEO immediately and will stay in post “for the time being” the company said in a statement on Friday.

The mining company said CEO Farmer “has commenced a course of treatment and it will be some months before he is able to return to work full-time”.

Scott will be supported by the existing team at Lonmin and the executive Committee, which will include chairman Roger Phillimore.

Phillimore said he had “every confidence in [Scott’s] leadership especially at this challenging time”.

Scott’s appointment follows the news that the mining company may have to seek a new injection of capital because the shutdown of the Marikana mine may cause it to breach its debt covenants.

Thirty-four miners were shot dead by police during a strike over pay last week. South African president Jacob Zuma has set up a commission to investigate the role of Lonmin, the government, police, unions, and individuals in the miners’ deaths.

Strike action at two other platinum mines have increased industry fears that the unrest is spreading, leading to a jump in the price of platinum amid concerns about disruptions to supply.

Lonmin, which is listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, is one of the world’s largest primary producers of Platinum Group Metals.


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