Glencore Xstrata starts trading in South Africa, poised to sell Lonmin stake

Glencore Xstrata (LON:GLEN) is getting ready to sell its almost 25% stake in platinum producer Lonmin (LON:LMI) as it does not fit the company strategy of operating in bulk commodities, CEO Ivan Glasenberg said on Wednesday.

The miner and trading house, which started trading on Johannesburg’s stock exchange this morning, ranks now among the top three on the stock in terms of market capitalization.

Unlike his peers, Glasenberg is not afraid of betting on Africa’s largest economy, which happens to be his mother country.

“Our listing on the JSE is a significant step for Glencore. It not only deepens our relationship with South Africa, it highlights our confidence in Africa as a place to invest,” he said in a statement.

The natural resources giant’s projects in South Africa include the Goedgevonden thermal-coal complex in the Mpumalanga province, the Helena underground chrome mine on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex, the Wonderkop ferrochrome plant in the North West Province and the Eland platinum mine near Pretoria.

Glencore merged this year with Xstrata – company that had strong South African links – to form one of the world’s largest commodities groups.

Image: Ivan Glasenberg receiving the Person of the Year award in March/Flickr Commons.