THE CFO of South African platinum miner Lonmin is to step down after five-and-a-half years with the company.
No date has been set for Simon Scott’s departure, but it is expected he will leave his post after interim results are announced in May.
Last year, there were concerns Lonmin may cease trading if shareholders rejected a $770m (£542m) refinancing plan, which included a cash call through a rights issue.
Under pressure from rising costs and the plunging price of platinum, Lonmin sought to raise $400m through a share sale and $370m from banks, as well as slash 6,000 jobs as part of wider cost cutting measures.
Lonmin’s efforts to refinance its balance sheet came after the FTSE 250 miner had embarked on a series of measures to reduce costs and capital expenditure to preserve cash after suffering from the global commodity slump.
Prices for platinum have plummeted by 20% over 2015, while shares in Lonmin fell by more than 80%.
In 2013, Scott told Financial Director how he managed the company through its darkest hour, when in 2012 he was made acting CEO when illness forced incumbent Ian Farmer to step aside. It came at a time of violent strikes at its Marikana mine which claimed 44 lives, saw more than 70 injured and the extraction of more than 15,000 ounces of platinum lost after police shot strikers after reportedly being charged. Banking covenants were breached, a rights issue made and stocks dropped six days in a row to 20 August 2012.
Brian Beamish, chairman of Lonmin said: “Over the past five and a half years Simon has played an important role during a difficult period for Lonmin, both as CFO and Acting CEO. We are grateful to him for all his hard work and commitment and wish him well in the future.”
Simon Scott said: “After successfully completing last year’s fundraising in an exceptionally challenging market, it is now the right time for me to pursue other interests. I wish Lonmin every success in the future.”