Stuart Murray,
CEO,
Aquarius Platinum
 
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 27 August 2008 – Impala Platinum Holdings Limited – the world’s second-biggest producer of the precious metal – and Aquarius Platinum Limited – a focused platinum group metals producer in southern Africa – have considered a joint bid for Lonmin plc – the world’s third-biggest platinum producer.

Reporting from here, Bloomberg News quoted the Daily Telegraph as the source of this speculation, but added that Aquarius and Impala had shelved the talks for an all-share offer because they weren’t able to offer more than Xstrata’s ₤33- a-share bid.

The Daily Telegraph added that Aquarius had approached Lonmin earlier this year and proposed a reverse takeover involving its CEO Stuart Murray replacing Lonmin’s Brad Mills. Impala was still studying a possible rival offer, the newspaper said.

The Telegraph reported that Lonmin had declined to comment, and that Aquarius and Impala couldn’t be reached for comment. However, miningmx.com reported that Stuart Murray had denied the speculation “I can assure you that nothing like what the Daily Telegraph is speculating about is going on,” he insisted.

Lonmin is currently facing a US$10billion (R75 billion) hostile bid from Swiss-based international miner Xstrata plc which it has rejected out of hand. According to Lonmin chairman John Craven, “this opportunistic proposal is an attempt to acquire Lonmin’s assets cheaply and capitalise on the expected improvement in our mining and processing performance.”

Bloomberg reports that the Lonmin share price has been trading just above the Xstrata offer price of ₤33 a share, and currently sits at ₤34.26.