Johannesburg- and London-listed diversified mining major Glencore announced in a statement on Wednesday that it intends to divest its 23.9% stake in JSE-listed Lonmin during the first half of this year.

Glencore, which inherited the stake in 2013 when it acquired Xstrata, plans to divest of it by way of a distribution in specie to its shareholders.

This distribution, currently representing $3 cents per Glencore share, will not impact its approach towards its annual cash distribution consideration.

Glencore, who believes that a straightforward market disposal of the Lonmin stake at this time would not be in the best interests of its shareholders, will obtain approval from its shareholders at its AGM to be held on May 7, 2015.

“As we do not trade platinum and have no special insight into the market, we believe that it is better to leave to our shareholders the decision as to how to manage the Lonmin shares,” Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg explained in the statement.

After shareholder approval for the proposed distribution is obtained, Glencore’s two nominated representatives on the Lonmin board, Gary Nagle and Paul Smith, will step down.

In a responding statement Lonmin said Glencore’s proposal is a constructive way forward which would enable Glencore shareholders to continue their participation in Lonmin’s future.  Lonmin’s first quarter production report issued on January 29, 2015 stated that it has maintained the strong operational momentum and achieved the highest production from underground since 2011. Total attributable tons mined in the quarter were 2.8 million t, which is 7.2% higher than the prior year period.  Saleable metal-in-concentrate was the highest first quarter production since 2007 with output of 200.170 platinum ounces. This was 11.4%, or 20.479 oz higher than the prior year period. Refined Platinum production of 139,823 ounces was reduced because of the repairs to the Number One furnace and decreased by 56.426 oz compared to the prior year period.  Lonmin expects to process the build-up in concentrate stock by the end of the financial year. Sales of 146.890 platinum ounces increased by 9.0%, or 12,086 ounces on the prior year period.