At work on the
Western Cluster iron
ore project in Liberia
 
Cape Town, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 16 February 2009 – Diversified mining and exploration group Delta Mining Consolidated Limited – which has interests in coal and iron ore – plans to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange this year to help fund acquisitions in Africa.

CEO Heine van Niekerk told Bloomberg News in an interview here that the Johannesburg-based company might buy assets in countries including Angola, Congo Republic and Cameroon, where potential acquisitions have been identified. “Plans for the share sale are well advanced,” he added. “Part of the reason for the listing is to fund future acquisitions,” Van Niekerk said.

“Delta’s DMC Energy unit is prospecting for coal at four sites in South Africa and last year raised US$120 million R1.2 billion) in a private placement in London,” he continued. “We have been active in the London market for the past two to three years, and Delta has a very good relationship with a network of investment banks and brokerages in the city, Van Niekerk added.

Bloomberg News reports that last year, the company submitted a bid to develop Liberia’s US$1.6 billion (R16 billion) Western Cluster iron ore project. On 15 September the Liberian government canceled the award of the mining contract to Delta and barred it and Tata Steel Limited from participating in a new tender, the report added. Both companies disputed the government’s statements.

Delta said in December it was taking legal action to challenge the Liberian government over the cancellation of the original bid, after the government had invited new expressions of interest in the Western Cluster.

“We find it hard to understand how the Ministry of Mines can re-tender when there is a legal challenge and a stay order over the re-tender,” said Van Niekerk.

A commission of inquiry had recommended that Delta and Tata should be allowed to re-bid for the assets, and invitations should be sent to the companies to do so. “We never received any invitation to re-tender,” he said.