The current executive head of engineering and capital projects at Amplats will take up his role on 1 July, almost one year after the fatal shootings at Marikana outside Johannesburg.
Prior to joining Amplats, Zimbabwean Magara headed up Anglo American’s coal business in South Africa.
Lonmin has been searching for a new chief executive to replace Ian Farmer since he stepped down due to illness in December.
Acting chief executive Simon Scott will resume his position as chief financial officer when Magara joins the firm.
Mining veteran Magara is tasked with turning around the FTSE 250 company’s fortunes following last year’s deadly industrial action at its Marikana mine.
Lonmin chairman Roger Phillimore yesterday said that Magara’s experience of working in South Africa and the mining community would help to “drive Lonmin forward”.