Lonmin chief executive Ben Magara. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Johannesburg - Mining company Lonmin announced on Monday that board chairman Roger Phillimore, who is also a director at the company, is to retire at the end of April this year.

“With effect from May 1, 2014, Brian Beamish, an independent non-executive director who joined the board on November 1, 2013, will become interim chairman of the board of directors,” the company said in a statement.

Beamish, an engineer, spent 36 years with the Anglo American group, primarily in operational and leadership roles, retiring from the role of group director of mining and technology last year.

Phillimore said of Beamish's appointment: “I am pleased that my successor is such an experienced and able leader.”

The outgoing chairman said Beamish had deep knowledge of the South African mining industry and had already made a significant contribution during his short time on the board.

Beamish said: “On behalf of the shareholders I would like to thank Roger for his many years of dedicated service to Lonmin and for his unstinting efforts as chairman, for which we owe him a very considerable debt of gratitude.

“He has been a superb leader of the board in what were often extremely challenging circumstances.”

Lonmin chief executive, Ben Magara said: “Roger has been a great pillar of support for me since my arrival at Lonmin, and I will always be grateful for the support and wise counsel he invariably provides.

“I have known Brian [Beamish] for many years, and have the greatest respect for him personally and for his considerable knowledge of the challenges facing the platinum mining industry.”

Magara said Beamish was somebody who he knew he could work with in achieving the company's objectives in the years ahead. - Sapa