JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The world’s leading platinum producer Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) confirmed on Friday that it had reached agreement with the Royal Bafokeng Nation, which would enable South Africa’s wealthiest indigenous tribe to take a majority interest in, and operational control of, the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine joint venture (BRPM JV), whose assets were located near Rustenburg, in North West province.
The restructuring opened the way for the creation of an independent, listable, broad-based black empowered operating platinum company, or Newco, which would take operational control on January 4, 2010. Newco’s brand identity would be unveiled early in 2010.
A management team comprising Nico Muller, as COO, Martin Prinsloo, as CFO, and Mzila Mthenjane, as director of business sustainability, had been appointed.
The BRPM JV produces about 180 000 platinum ounces a year and includes the R2,4-billion Merensky Phase II project, as well as the 200 000 platinum ounces a year R8,1-billion adjacent Styldrift project. This operation has had a successful track record since 2002 under the capable management of Angloplat
The deal, which was concluded through Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) Royal Bafokeng Resources (RBR), became effective and unconditional on December 7, 2009. It involved a change in the participation interests of the BRPM JV from that of joint control of Rustenburg Platinum Mine (RPM), which was managed by Angloplat, to RBR holding a majority interest of around 67% and operating the JV.
“This marks the fulfillment of Angloplat’s commitment towards facilitating the creation of an independently controlled and managed, black-empowered platinum group metals producer and we are excited about our ability to participate in the future value creation we see coming from NewCo," said Anglo Platinum CEO Neville Nicolau.
RBR was a subsidiary of a newly formed NewCo within the RBH group of companies, which has been resourced with an experienced and focused management team over the past 12 months.
Management control will transfer to NewCo in January 2010, and after transfer of management control to NewCo, RPM and RBR would remain the only partners in the JV.
During December this year, RPM exchanged 17% of its interest in the BRPM JV for a 25% interest in NewCo, which was to be listed within twenty -four months, subject to market conditions.
"We believe that the enhanced focus of a dedicated management team supported by strong empowerment credentials and a solid capital structure should unlock significant sustainable value for all stakeholders and we look forward to the culmination of our stated intention to create an independently listed black controlled platinum group metals producer through the listing of NewCo on the JSE,” said RBH CEO Niall Carroll.