Northam – Mvela’s
prized jewel
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW — 07 October 2008 – Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) – the world’s leading primary producer of platinum group metals –wants South African authorities to ensure it does not lose affirmative action credits gained by selling a key asset, which is now a target by rival Impala Platinum (Implats).

Angloplat recently sold its share of the vast Booysendal platinum asset to black-owned Mvelphanda Resources (Mvela), which is now a target of Implats. Last week Implats – the second-largest producer in the world – made a R21.2 billion rand bid for Mvela and its unit Northam Platinum.

Mvela’s prized jewel Booysendal is housed in Northam, and has over 100 million shallow ounces of platinum group metals.

Angloplat obtained its credits in terms of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), designed to embrace blacks in the mainstream economy and end decades of exclusion under apartheid.

“Angloplat has asked for written assurances and confirmation that our BEE empowerment status will not be prejudiced,” spokeswoman Mary-Jane Morifi told Reuters.

“On-selling the company (Mvela) may create a situation where there isn’t a BEE entity, and which may mean we need to create a new BEE entity. This is why we want to clarify the issue," she explained.

Implats has said it wants to “create a South African-controlled platinum champion”, and if successful, the deal would also boost Implats own affirmative action credits.

“Angloplat must be unhappy about the Implats deal,” Royal Bank of Canada analyst Leon Esterhuizen told Reuters in London. Angloplat sold part of Booysendal as part of its empowerment drive, now this asset belongs to its biggest rival. I think there is a moral issue here the DME should look into,” he added.