* Zuma says Lonmin must file compliant plan or risk losing
* Warning puts pressure on Lonmin to spend on workers'
By Tiisetso Motsoeneng
JOHANNESBURG, Dec 12 South Africa-focused
platinum miner Lonmin is confident of submitting a plan
to build workers' housing that meets government requirements, it
said on Monday, after President Jacob Zuma threatened to revoke
its mining permit if it failed to do so.
Zuma's warning on Sunday piles pressure on the company to
spend more on workers' housing at a time when it is cutting
costs after being saved from the brink of collapse last year by
a deeply discounted $400 million equity cash call.
To secure a mining licence, mining companies must submit a
plan for housing and living conditions for their workers, many
of whom come from former "homelands", far from the mines, where
blacks were forced to live in South Africa's racist past.
An inquiry into the death of 34 striking miners, shot by
South African police outside Lonmin's Marikana mine in 2012,
criticised Lonmin in 2015 for failing to comply with its social
and housing obligations.
The 2015 report, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, said
the mines department should take steps to enforce the rules.
After South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources asked
for revisions to Lonmin's housing plan in September, "the
company is currently reviewing its plan and is confident that it
will submit a plan that is compliant," Lonmin said in a
Lonmin's employee housing plan includes building apartments
and converting crowded men-only hostels on mine property into
bachelor apartments and family units.
Lonmin said in the statement it had completed the conversion
of all hostels into 1,908 single and 776 family units.
Zuma said on Sunday his government would consider taking
sterner measures that include revoking or suspending Lonmin's
mining permit if the company failed to present a housing plan
with clear timelines.
"A compliant housing plan will be requested from Lonmin,
failing which immediate action in the form of suspension or
cancellation of the mining right will be taken," Zuma said in
Last month, Lonmin reported earnings before interest and tax
(EBIT) of $7 million for the year ended Sept. 30 versus a loss
of $134 million a year earlier and said it would continue
closing inefficient production in 2017 to cut costs.
Shares in the company, which are also listed in London
, closed 1.7 percent lower at 24.28 rand in Johannesburg,
largely in line with peers.
($1 = 13.6436 rand)
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Adrian Croft)