Diversified South Africa-based resources com- pany Exxaro Resources, the Namibian Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation and Namibian empowerment company PE Minerals, announced in June this year that Exxaro divested a 43,8% interest in Rosh Pinah to Namibian shareholder group- ings.
This reduces Exxaro’s shareholding in Rosh Pinah to 50,04%, with 49,96% held by Namibian shareholders.
Exxaro will continue to manage the Rosh Pinah mine in south-western Namibia in terms of a management agreement. Together with Exxaro’s Zincor refinery in Gauteng, which it supplies with zinc concentrate, Rosh Pinah mine is one of the few integrated zinc mining and refinery operations in the world. In the 2007 financial year, Rosh Pinah and Zincor produced 95 000 t of zinc concentrate and 101 000 t of zinc metal respectively.
The ‘Namibianisation’ transaction follows an agreement between Rosh Pinah, shareholder PE Minerals, the Namibian government and Exxaro’s predecessor, Iscor, in terms of which the parties agreed to sell a 50% interest in Rosh Pinah to Namibian citizens. Prior to the transaction, the shareholding of Exxaro in Rosh Pinah was 93,9%, with PE Minerals holding 6,1%.
“Since our listing in 2007, we have fully supported the obligations Exxaro assumed from its predecessors, Iscor and, in turn, Kumba Resources. “However, it was only when buoyant zinc commodity prices improved substantially from mid-2006 that the parties were able to develop a bank- able financial structure to support the transaction, bringing us to today’sreality,” said Exxaro’s CEO Sipho Nkosi from Windhoek.
Rosh Pinah chairperson and Exxaro CFO Dirk van Staden added that the announcement marked the culmination of many months of work overseen by the Rosh Pinah board, banks, legal experts and the respective teams from Exxaro and PE Minerals. “The deal involves a major employer in, and contributor to, the Namibian economy and adds significant value to a number of stakeholders, including the people of the country,” he said.
PE Minerals chairperson Aaron Mushimba says that the private sector initiative between Exxaro, PE Minerals and Rosh Pinah shows a unified commitment to social responsibility and empowerment of Namibians during tough economic times.
He adds that although commodity prices have improved significantly and mines are performing better, the financiers of this transaction would not have felt comfortable to finance it without the political stability created by the Namibian government. “The shareholder base has been widened significantly among Namibians, including the workforce at Rosh Pinah,” he says.
In partnership with Exxaro, the transaction was facili- tated by PE Minerals, the holder of the mineral rights for Rosh Pinah, which was tasked to evaluate and consider appropriate beneficiaries of the transaction, obtain Namibian government approval of new shareholders, and negotiate and structure the transaction on behalf of Namibian shareholders.
The new Namibian shareholders are represented by the company Jaguar, which consist of a broad-based range of shareholders. Beneficiaries through Jaguar range from traditional authorities, communities and individuals, including employees.
The shareholders have agreed to form an employee empower- ment participation scheme, in terms of which qualifying employees at Rosh Pinah will be entitled to 3% of the future dividends declared by Rosh Pinah. In terms of the agreement, Exxaro, PE Minerals and Jaguar will each donate a proportionate number of shares to form a trust through which the employee empowerment participation scheme will be administered.
Once the shares have been taken up by the trust, the final shareholding in Rosh Pinah will consist of Exxaro, with 50,04%; PE Minerals Namibia with 8%; Jaguar, with 38,99%; and the employee empowerment participation scheme, with 2,97%.
Further, Exxaro has also effected a number of changes to its executive management structure in order to support its strategic focus areas, the company states.
Changes include the formation of a business growth division, consolidation of the mineral sands and base metals divisions, and realignment of the sustainable development and strategy functions.
The company states that the move follows a review of the company’s organisa- tional model, including business processes, structure and governance to ensure alignment of resources, focus and goals.
Executive management appointments include previous head of the base metals division Mxolisi Mgoso, appointed GM for commodity operations: coal.
Further, Wim de Klerk will head the sands and base metals division, and Ernst Venter has been appointed GM for business growth.
Dr Nombasa Tsengwa has been appointed GM for safety and sustainable development. Previously, Tsengwa headed the safety, health and environment division.
Lastly, Trevor Arran has been appointed GM for corporate affairs and strategy. Previously, Arran headed the corporate affairs and investor relations division. However, Arran still retains responsibility for investor rela- tions.