London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 06 August 2010 – Miner Lonmin Plc “’ the world’s third- largest platinum producer “’ says the South African government has ordered it to stop selling nickel, copper and other offshoots of its platinum production due to a dispute over the prospecting rights.
The company “’ which is listed in London and Johannesburg and operates in South Africa “’ said after the market closed last night that it had received a letter from the Department of Mineral Resources ordering it to stop selling the minerals immediately.
“Lonmin will contest this matter vigorously and will be seeking an urgent court ruling to overturn this order,” the company said.
Lonmin explained that it had previously applied for explicit rights to sell the associated minerals, which are found in platinum group seams, but that a right had already been applied for on a small part of its property. That right had been awarded in May to a company linked with an ex-Lonmin board member, a decision it had appealed against, the company added.
Associated minerals contributed US$80 million (R600 million) to Lonmin’s turnover of about US$1 billion (R7.5 billion) in 2009.
While it attempted to resolve the situation, its operations would continue as normal, Lonmin said.
A spokesman for the Department of Mineral Resources declined to comment.