Lonmin nominated for worst company


Johannesburg - Lonmin has been nominated as one of the world's worst companies of 2012, environmental organisation groundWork said on Friday.

“This submission was based on the human rights violations and environmental destruction that the corporation has carried out since the establishment of its mine in the Marikana region...” said Bobby Peek, director at groundWork.

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Miners play soccer in front of the Lonmin mine outside Rustenburg, in the northwest of Johannesburg November 9, 2012. Mining group Lonmin rejected proposals that would have handed control to its dissatisfied largest shareholder, Xstrata, but instead pushed ahead with a $817 million cash call to repair its battered balance sheet. Xstrata - under pressure as it nears the final stages of its own takeover by Glencore - said it had aimed to protect the value of its investment, a 25 percent stake held as a result of a failed 2008 takeover attempt. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT POLITICS BUSINESS ENERGY)

Lonmin's name was submitted by groundWork and The Bench Marks Foundation for the Public Eye Awards.

The awards are a regular feature on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting and are conducted by civic organisations from across the globe.

This year the WEF meeting will take place in Davos, Switzerland from January 23 to 27.

Other companies which have been short-listed for the Public Eye Awards include G4S, Repower, Alstom, Shell, Coal India and Goldman Sachs.

On August 16 last year 34 people died when police opened fire on striking miners in Marikana, North West.

Another 10 people had been killed the week before and 78 miners were injured during the strike, which lasted six weeks.

The miners were demanding salary increases from the world's third largest producer of platinum.

“Mines such as Lonmin need to stop obsessing with cutting costs, which is usually at the expense of the environment, labour and communities.”

“They continue to find ways to shift their social responsibilities. Often this turns into protests such as those we experienced in Marikana,” said John Capel, director of The Bench Marks Foundation.

Lonmin spokesman Barnard Mokwena said the company was not aware of the Public Eye Awards nomination.

“We do not know the criteria used during the nomination and we were not consulted. As a company we cannot comment on the nomination,” he said. - Sapa

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