Mauritian MP Mining closing in on Mowana Copper Mine take over

 

  • Approaches Competition Authority for final regulatory approval.
  • Work to resuscitate the Mine is advanced
  • Mine coming back to commercial production soon

Max Power Mining, a Mauritius incorporated company that has been sniffing around the defunct Mowana Copper Mine, assessing its commercial viability, has now knocked at the doors of Competition & Consumer Authority seeking regulatory approval to acquire the assets, in a move that signals positive outcome from the due deligence and negotiations with current owners.

On Tuesday Competition Authority notified the public that it has received a merger notice for the proposed acquisition of the 3000 ordinary shares constituting 100% of the issued share capital in Cradle Arc Investments (Pty) Ltd, a Botswana incorporated firm currently in provisional liquidation, from Cradle Arc Plc – a UK registered mining investment firm currently in liquidation, by Max Power Limited.

The Target Enterprise, Cradle Arc, is a limited liability company incorporated in accordance to the Laws of Botswana. Cradle Arc is wholly owned by Cradle Arc Plc, a company incorporated in accordance to the Laws of the United Kingdom and it is submitted to be under liquidation in the United Kingdom under the control of joint liquidators presented by Antony Batty & Company LLP.

Cradle Arc directly controls and owns approximately 60% of the issued share capital of Leboam Holdings (Pty) Ltd, currently in judicial management.

The Target Enterprise Cradle Arc is described as an investment holding company and its major assets are the shares it owns in Leboam.

Leboam is a mining entity that operates Mowana Copper Mine, situated at Dukwi, in the North-East of Botswana and has been in judicial management since December 2018.

Caradle Arc itself has been in provisional liquidation since 15th October 2020 and it is currently in the hands of the Provisional Liquidator, Mr. Terence Dambe N.O.

The Directors of Cradle Arc are: Thuso Cecil Dikgaka (Motswana); Marthinus Stephanus Appelgryn; Kevin John Ludolph Van Wouw (South Africans); Mark Christopher Jones; and Dominic Jones Doherty (British).

The Acquiring Enterprise, MPL is an investment holding company incorporated in accordance to the Laws of Mauritius. MPL is wholly owned by Mr. Gregory Elias – a citizen of Netherlands who is also the sole director in the company.

Mr. Gregory directly and indirectly controls United International Holdings- a holding company that has interests in companies that provide trust and banking services.

In Botswana, Mr. Gregory controls M P Mining (Pty) Ltd which is a limited liability company incorporated in accordance to the Laws of Botswana.

The Acquiring Enterprise is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which is established to enter into a series of transactions pursuant to which (through its subsidiary– MP Mining), it seeks to restore the Mowana Mine which has been in care and maintenance since December 2018 to full production and subsequently take over Mowana Mine. Currently MPL does not produce or sell any products into or from Botswana.

According to section 50 (3) of the Competition Act 2018, “any person, including a third party not a party to the proposed merger, may voluntarily submit to the inspector or the Authority any document, affidavit, statement or other relevant information in respect of a proposed merger.”

Inthe merger notice the Competition & Consumer Authority called on any stakeholder views for or against the proposed merger to come forward.

Mowana Copper Mine was first developed by African Copper Limited after being awarded a 25 year mining licence in 2006. Production began in the second quarter of 2008.

African Copper ran the mine until filing for liquidation in 2015 after copper prices in the international base metal commodity market plummeted to record low levels. This is the price decline episode that also brought the over 50 year old BCL Group to its knees.

In 2017, Cradle Arc PLC reopened the mine with a conditional investment of $4 million (P40 million) working capital facility from Fujax Minerals & Energy limited.

However Cradle Arc PLC and Fujax partnership collapsed after a disagreement over collateral when Cradle wanted to drawdown the rest of the facility.

At the time of partying ways operations at Mowana had already consumed just over $1 million (P10 million).

According to the Mine’s technical Judicial Manager Mr John Hinchliffe the mine has a potential of going back to commercial glory and roaring to profitable production heights for an extra 24 years of lifespan.

“We had studies done by an international consultant we engaged recently, this studies have confirmed the resource and commercial viability of Mowana , signaling that profits could be realized if a significant investment is channeled towards re-opening of the mine” revealed Hinchliffe early this year

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