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ACR presses on despite ‘short term distractions’

AFRICAN Consolidated Resources (ACR), whose claim over alluvial diamond resources in Marange was snatched by the state, says it will stay put in the country despite its legal woes that it described as “short term distractions”.

In its annual report on Wednesday, ACR said the year ending March 31, passed “with no less volatility and adventure than expected”.
“From fickle markets to uncertain politics, ACR presses forward with our original vision, regardless of short-term distractions,” said the company CEO Andrew Cranswick.
“The successful fundraising completed in late 2009 has provided a solid cash reserve which is being carefully husbanded and clearly demonstrated the trust our shareholders place in this board.”
ACR had a strong balance sheet during the year, generating cash resources totaling US$15,4 million on its books, compared to US$2,1 million last year.
A jump in the company’s cash resources was a result of two equity placements.
“On the basis of a monthly cash overhead cost of $140 000, the cash balance of the group at the beginning of March 2010 allows significant headroom for discretionary expenditure on exploration in the coming year,” added Cranswick. 
He said with regard to their operations in Zimbabwe, they “should acknowledge early the elephant in the room”.
“This company was established from day one to begin by operating primarily in Zimbabwe, recognising our advantages while knowing the potential risks,” said Cranswick. “Our extraordinary successes  on  the  discovery  front  have,  perhaps  inevitably,  led  to  some controversial   attention   in   other   forms.”
Cranswick said there were strange contradictions of opportunity for success versus the potential dangers of that success, manifested by way of the unlawful and aggressive arrest of a company officer. 
While this was unfortunate and predictable, he said, it has been handled professionally from a personal and  legal viewpoint and they sought to continue developing positive relations with government.
“In tandem with this, we continue  our effort to bring investment to Zimbabwe,  especially in the resource  sector which offers the  best hope for an early  and  sustained  recovery  within  this,  one of the world’s most battered economies,” added Cranswick. 
“Our interests are inextricably aligned with those of the people of Zimbabwe who wish to break the cycle of impoverishment and instead foster free and unfettered economic development.” 
The ACR boss said improved investment in the country would come as a result of a competitive and transparent investment climate. He added that his company would continue to be patient, professional and keep “a steady eye on the long-term future” as their philosophy and strategy.
“Uncertainty has provided the opportunity and we will rise to the challenges which must emanate from that same uncertainty,” said Cranswick.
ACR has been engaged in a legal battle over its claim in the Marange area, leaving many market watchers wondering if it would continue operations in the country.
Apart from the Marange resources, ACR is also involved in gold, sulphide, nickel and phosphate mining along the Great Dyke and other parts of the country.


Leonard Makombe

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