The bold projects Lonmin promised in plans underpinning its mining rights were perhaps too ambitious, assuming tasks that should be the local government’s responsibility, and which have now put a takeover by Sibanye-Stillwater at risk. In a court bid to suspend Lonmin’s mines until it complies with its social and labour plans (SLPs) and prevent it from finalising any deals — a factor that would potentially scupper the all-share takeover bid by Sibanye — Mining Forum of SA has highlighted the dismal track record of the world’s third-largest platinum producer in delivering on its SLPs. The plans are a key component in assessing the award of a mining right by the mineral resources department and failure to adhere to the SLPs, which must improve the lives of communities near the mines as well as the workforce, can result in the loss of the mining right. Lonmin’s adherence to its plans was one of the key focus areas of the Farlam commission’s report on the events leading up to and culmin...

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