Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman warned the Department of Mineral Resources to refrain from derailing a R5bn transaction to take over Lonmin in a deal that would save 20,000 jobs and give beleaguered Lonmin shareholders welcome relief. The immediately positive reaction of the Lonmin share price to the all-paper takeover bid by Sibanye that would give the platinum miner’s investors an 11.3% stake in Sibanye that would leapfrog Impala Platinum to become the world’s second-largest platinum miner spoke volumes about how the offer was received by investors in the struggling company. Lonmin, the world’s third-largest producer of platinum, has in recent years struggled in the low metal price environment, forcing it into a highly dilutive rights issue in 2015 and bringing it dangerously close to breaching debt covenants this year. Lonmin reached the point where it was preparing to sell assets, bring in partners on projects and rent or sell excess processing capacity, particularly at its...

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