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Popo Molefe joins Canadian platinum miner
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13th July 2004
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Former North West Province Premier Popo Molefe will be appointed co-nonexecutive chairperson of Anooraq Resources Corporation, a listed North American junior platinum mining and exploration company.

The company recently made history when it was involved in a reverse takeover by Pelawan, which enabled the Johannesburg-based firm to become the first South African black empowerment company to obtain a primary offshore listing.

The reverse takeover is expected to be completed in September.

“We are delighted to welcome a man of Mr Molefe’s stature and credibility to our business,” president and CEO of Annoraq Resources Ron Thiessen said from Canada.

“We could think of no-one who is better placed to act as an ambassador for our company in both South Africa and North America.”

Molefe – who held the post of Premier of North West Province for a maximum of two terms – said he was “excited by the challenge of entering the mining sector at a time of tremendous change”.

“It’s an exciting move – from Premier of the ‘Platinum Province’ to head of a premier platinum company,” he said yesterday.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge, and to using my knowledge of the platinum industry, and my networks, to grow the business.

“In particular, I would like to be able to play a role in facilitating community involvement in mining development, in line with the requirements of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and its associated charter. It is essential that we take communities with us.”

Pelawan executive chairperson Tumelo Motsisi, speaking from the company’s offices in Johannesburg, added: “Popo has the perfect combination of skills and contacts – as Premier of North West, he has obviously built up an excellent understanding of the industry, and has a range of global contacts who will definitely add value to Pelawan and Anooraq.

“This is another significant step in the growth of our business, and the movement towards an independent, sustainable BEE-controlled operational mining house in South Africa,” Motsisi added.

In terms of the reverse takeover, Pelawan will sell its 50% participation interest in its Ga Phasha platinum joint venture with Anglo Platinum to Anooraq in exchange for a 63% controlling equity interest in the company.

Pelawan will receive 91 200 000 shares in Anooraq and certain cash payments. The majority of the Anooraq shares received by Pelawan will be placed in an escrow trust for Pelawan for a minimum period of six years.

The Ga-Phasha project is an advanced-stage PGM prospect, located on the North Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex, approximately 250 km northeast of Johannesburg. It is adjacent to Anglo Platinum’s Twickenham mine.

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