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Lonmin Losses Hit £435m After Mine Woes

(c) Sky News 2012

Platinum miner Lonmin (LSE: LMI.L - news) , the London-listed firm at the centre of the bloody Marikana mine dispute in South Africa, has announced a pre-tax loss for the year of £435m.

In addition to the damaging result in the 12 months to September 30, the firm has announced a new £510m rights issue to raise capital.

The issue has been priced at a discount of 45%, as it pushed ahead with a cash call to slash its debt and fund a recovery, after it was battered by six weeks of strikes.

Shares in London were down more than 4.26% in early Friday trading however they recovered to 1.26% up in afternoon trades.

Although the company was hit by the South African strife, elsewhere the company was buoyed by its performance.

A spokeswoman told Sky News: "Despite significant disruptions, the company has delivered a solid operational performance in 2012, achieving sales of 702,000 platinum ounces and saleable metal in concentrate to just under 680,000 platinum ounces."

Lonmin, the world's third-largest platinum miner, said it would issue nine new shares for every five existing, a total of up to 365 million shares at 140-pence.

The price represents a 44.4% discount to the theoretica ex-rights price (Terp) of an existing share and the equivalent discount offered to the price in South African rand equates to a 45% discount.

Meanwhile, Lonmin said it had rejected a reverse takeover bid by Anglo-Swiss competitor Xstrata (Other OTC: XSRAF.PK - news) .

Xstrata holds some 25% of Lonmin's shares and it previously tried a takeover in 2008.

Lonmin acting chief executive Simon Scott said the Anglo-Swiss bid was below value for investors but he admitted the firm is open to reviewing other proposals "on merit".

Lonmin also revealed £472m of special costs in the result, including £100m for the costs of the strike.

Thousands of workers at the Marikana mine went on strike after more than 40 colleagues were killed during an industrial strike standoff with police.

The strike threatened to spread across the entire industry, in protest at the violence and levels of pay.

As Lonmin workers went back to work on September 20 with hefty pay rises, workers at nearby sites operated by competitor Anglo-American Platinum (Amplats) were being tear-gassed and fired on by rubber bullets.

Alleged police brutality was likened to the dark days of the apartheid era and prompted a commission of inquiry and damaged the wider South African economy.

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