CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER QUITS
Lonmin hammered by resignation of ‘one of its best people’
Outgoing chief operating officer Ben Moolman ‘appears to have had enough’ as lack of capital weighs
Lonmin shares fell more than 10% on Monday, when it told the market its chief operating officer, Ben Moolman, had resigned for "personal reasons". On the JSE, the share price closed 8.5% down at R16.14, its lowest level in 2017, marking it out as the weakest of SA’s platinum companies since the start of the year. Lonmin has dropped more than 31% so far in 2017 and 50% in the past 52 weeks. Analysts said Moolman, a figure with the operational experience necessary to turn the embattled company’s mines back to profit, appeared to have had enough. "You can’t replace him with anyone else in the hope they can fix the operational problems. The real problem is the capital structure of the company — that and the labour and social issues," said Nedbank analyst Leon Esterhuizen. The lack of capital, stemming in large part from a 2016 rights issue that was too small, meant there was not enough money to invest in the mines and, in particular, to bring the suspended and partially built K4 mine in...