Niched mining services company, Ukwazi, today announces its acquisition of financial modelling consultancy, Sidus Consulting. The transaction will help grow Ukwazi’s existing solutions portfolio, expanding the business’ integrated mining offering for clients across Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Sidus’ Chief Executive and seasoned techno economic specialist, Kerron Johnstone, will head up mining valuations as part of the new Ukwazi Transaction Advisory (UTA) division, which will provide industry-leading public reporting, mine financial modelling, project valuation reports, Independent Technical Reports (ITRs) and Competent Person Reports (CPRs), amongst other key services.
“As we move into 2022, we see a revision in mining capital allocation strategies, driven largely by post-pandemic economic recovery trends and a rise in demand and pricing,” says Ukwazi’s Managing Director, Jaco Lotheringen. “While this certainly presents an opportunity to make bolder decisions - particularly when it comes to viable and responsible mining investments - accurate financial modelling and risk assessments will be essential to the sustainability of these investments.”
According to Lotheringen, Sidus’ vast experience in capital budgeting and investments, closure liability assessments, due diligence and mining IPOs, perfectly complements Ukwazi’s range of multi-disciplinary advisory services as well as the company’s expert capabilities in mining, engineering and environmental solutions. “Leveraging these core competencies will ensure that clients achieve a cost profile that is efficient, sustainable and safe to operate.”
Johnstone, who will play a major role in UTA, has more than 20 years’ experience analysing the viability, feasibility and life-cycle costing of large mining, water engineering and industrial capital projects. He also has a strong track record in financial modelling and valuations, closure costing and the calculation of financial impacts and provisions resulting from due diligence, investment decisions and funding or transaction requirements. Johnstone’s main area of specialisation is techno economic assessments, a field he became interested in during his time working in merchant and investment banking and engineering consulting.
Explains Johnstone, “Simply put, there is never a good time to make a bad decision. The mining sector has reached a pivotal point – rapidly evolving technology, the requirement to sustain the licence to operate and increasing environmental, social and governance (ESG) pressures, including the journey towards decarbonisation. Determining future production figures, profitability and expenditures through effective cost modelling and estimates, will greatly assist the industry in successfully navigating these perceived risks, turning them into workable opportunities. Robust modelling and analytics, as well as Code compliant technical reports, will also help inspire international and local investor confidence, enhancing sector access to appropriate capital and much needed funding.”
UTA forms part of Ukwazi’s 360-degree service offering, which integrates critical activities and disciplines across the mining value chain. This comprises specialist services ranging from permitting,mining studies and sustainable mining solutions, through to feasibility studies, business improvement initiatives, public reporting, techno-economic assessments and valuations, project development and delivery and compliance with relevant mining codes and stock exchange regulations.