HomeLocalManyame loses stake

Manyame loses stake

Chris Goko

METALLON Gold SA says it will stick to its end-April listing on the JSE Securities Exchange, amid revelations that the owner Mzi Khumalo has retained 100% ownership of the mainly-Zimbabwean gold a

ssets and will essentially list the 30% share formerly given to local investors.

Khumalo owns both Metallon and its Zimbabwean subsidiary through Metallon Corporation, which will own about 40-50% of the listed entity, according to company head of corporate affairs, Nonqkubela Maliza.

It emerged this week that Zimbabwean assets, trading under Metallon Gold Zimbabwe, make up 90% of the soon-to-be-listed entity, Metallon Gold SA (Metallon).

“We obviously are intending to list this year and according to our schedule we are committed to fulfilling that process within that (stated) period,” Maliza told the Zimbabwe Independent on Wednesday.

“The listing entity is Metallon Gold and it is inclusive of assets in South Africa and Zimbabwe,” she said, adding they were currently working “on a valuation process with our bankers”.

Maliza would not say which institutions they were working with and how much they intended to raise, although people in the know put it at R350 million (about US$58,3 million).

The amount is four times Metallon Gold Zimbabwe’s asking price when Khumalo bought the five-mine group from Lonmin plc about two years ago.

Khumalo, the sources said, planned to invest R200 million (about US$33,3 million) in expanding the Zimbabwean mines, while pocketing a staggering R150 million (about US$25 million) from the part-disposal of his shareholding in company.

When the Durban-based mining magnate acquired the Zimbabwean assets, he handed the 30% empowerment quota to Manyame Consortium (Manyame) ahead of co-bidder, Stanmarker (Private) Ltd, which sparked a US$12 million breach of contract claim by the latter.

Khumalo has now added new drama to the localisation saga by ditching Manyame, as it emerged that he recently sounded out Mines minister Amos Midzi about taking on board new partners.

Midzi told the Independent yesterday that he was yet to get “finer” details of the cancellation of Metallon’s deal with Manyame.

He would not comment on whether he met Metallon executives, who were in the country this week and what sort of business he discussed with Khumalo prior to the February 9 listing announcement in Cape Town.

In the meantime, Manyame chairman John Mkushi said he was not at liberty to discuss the matter as “it is not our matter and, therefore, I cannot comment on that”.

With Metallon Corporation chief executive Andile Reve in Harare on Wednesday to canvass government support on the intended listing, company insiders said Metallon was steadfastly pushing for the listing, with on-going assessments at Arcturus, How and Shamva mines — three known investments making up Zimbabwe’s largest gold digger.

The mines churn out a cumula-tive 195 000 ounces a year, Metallon Resources boss Greg Hunter said early last month, when he jointly unveiled the subsidiary firm, Metallon’s listing with Khumalo at a mining indaba in SA.

The sources said further technical assessments were in the offing at various Metallon properties countrywide, as part of the offer document or prospectus-making process — due for submission six weeks before listing on the SA bourse.

However, the progression of Metallon’s listing steps come at a time JSE authorities and Zimbabwean mining ministry bosses have professed ignorance about the company’s announced April listing.

An official at the Sandton, Johannesburg stock exchange told this paper that the gold company had “not lodged any formal communication or notice” on the intended flotation, while Mines secretary Tinaye Chigudu said earlier this week that he was also not aware of Metallon’s imminent public offering.

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