New boss Magara takes the reins at Lonmin as furnace is repaired

City A.M. Reporter
NEW chief executive Ben Magara’s first day at Lonmin kicked off with some good news yesterday, after the beleaguered miner said that repairs to its number two furnace are now complete.

Magara, a former Anglo American Platinum exec, replaces Ian Farmer, who stepped down last December with an undisclosed illness four months after strikes at its Marikana mine left 44 people dead.

“He brings with him a wealth of experience in mining,” said Lonmin chairman Roger Phillimore. “Ben is a proven leader at the highest levels and has an impressive record of delivery throughout his career.”

Magara said he would spend his first few weeks getting to know the company, and said it was “clear to me is that Lonmin has excellent assets”.

Lonmin’s processing division’s number two furnace had been offline since April, after a fault with the roof forced it to close.

“The first matte tap occurred on 25 June and the furnace is now running at 5 MW as the process of heating continues,” the group said in a statement.