Lonmin in Marikana, near Rustenburg. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Lonmin in Marikana, near Rustenburg. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Sibanye-Stillwater has defeated the last challenge against its R4.3bn takeover of Lonmin, creating the world’s largest platinum miner.

The Greater Lonmin Community had approached the Constitutional Court to set aside the transaction that was concluded on June 10 2019.

In an extraordinarily brief judgment, SA’s highest court dismissed the six communities’ application to appeal against a Competition Appeal Court ruling to allow the deal to go ahead after the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union rejected the Competition Tribunal’s approval of the deal.

The Constitutional Court said the communities’ application stood “no reasonable prospects of success”.

Sibanye said the ruling brought “an end to all proceedings”.

Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman described the approach to the Constitutional Court as “frivolous”.

“It is unfortunate that certain stakeholders seem unable to recognise the plight that faced the Lonmin operations and, instead of engaging with us, continue to pursue spurious and expensive legal alternatives,” he said, reiterating Sibanye’s commitment to working with communities around Lonmin and abiding by Lonmin’s social and labour plans.

The communities wanted the deal set aside so they could be involved in the renegotiation of the all-share transaction. The Competition Appeal Court had ruled that they were not a party to the deal and declined its application to appeal against the tribunal’s decision.

Sibanye has said it was reviewing the Lonmin mines because not all shafts were contributing to the combined group’s profit line.

Froneman said during Sibanye’s interim results presentation a week ago that the mines needed “significant restructuring”.

The results of the review would be known before the end of the year. Sibanye was prevented from laying off Lonmin staff for six months once the deal was concluded, according to one of the tribunal’s conditions in approving the takeover.

seccombea@bdfm.co.za