After an eventful 2010, African Minerals is to start mining and exporting one of the finest iron ore in the world from their Tonkolili mining site in Sierra Leone. This year will be more eventful and will once again kick-start iron ore production in Sierra Leone over 30 years when the Marampa mines were closed.
For about four years now African Minerals under the astute leadership of Frank Timis and his able Lieutenant Moseray Fadika, have been able to ride the rough tides on to this moment that once again the world is now looking to iron ore to help develop the country’s economy and decrease poverty.
The first quarter of this year will see the beginning of export of iron ore to Europe and Asia. To achieve this feat, AML has constructed a port at Lungi, repaired the old railway line and also the port at Pepel. These works have cost the company millions of dollars and have also helped to ease unemployment in the country. Presently thousands of Sierra Leoneans have been employed by AML from management level right down to cleaners and security.
Millions of Leones have been benefited by the country through customs duties, NRA taxes and other forms of taxation and also through their Corporate Social Responsibility.
Other institutions have also benefited from AML throughout the country and they have continued the process until now.
Although it has not always been rosy for them, they have come under heavy criticisms from the opposition, the press and the civil society accusing them of environmental damage, undermining the recently passed Mining Act and other corrupt practices. All these accusations have never dampened the determination of the company to continue in its strides for success, which they have now succeeded in getting.
Last year saw one of the biggest investments ever in Sierra Leone taking off. Shandong Iron and Steel proposes to join AML by buying the highest shares costing some $1.6 billion, although it is yet to actualize, the deal is almost done with Shandong Iron & Steel finishing there due diligence and they will soon announce when they will be making payments to AML so both of them can start working to make this year brighter for Sierra Leone.
As AML wait for them they have been busy in trading with other partners because they have the largest deposit of iron ore under their control in Africa.
On the 11th of this month, AML announced that 6,991,450 new common shares of US$0.01 each (“New Common Shares”) have been issued and allotted pursuant to the exercise by China Railway Materials Commercial Corporation (“CRM”) of its rights under the Subscription Agreement between CRM and the Company dated 31 March 2010.
Application has been made for the New Common Shares to be admitted to trading and these will rank pari pasu with the Company’s existing common shares. Admission of the New Common Shares to AIM is expected on 20 January 2011.
As CRM is a significant shareholder in the Company, the subscription for New Ordinary Shares by CRM constitutes a related party transaction as defined by the AIM Rules for Companies. Accordingly, the Directors, having consulted with the Company’s nominated adviser, consider that the terms of the subscription by CRM are fair and reasonable in so far as the Company’s shareholders as a whole are concerned.
Subsequent to the issuance of these New Common Shares, African Minerals will have 324,650,726 common shares in issue.
Again in this January AML announced that 83,333 new common shares of US$0.01 each (“New Common Shares”) have been issued and allotted pursuant to the exercise of share options.
Application has been made for the New Common Shares to be admitted to trading and these will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing common shares. Admission of the New Common Shares to AIM is expected on 17 January 2011.
Subsequent to the issuance of these New Common Shares, African Minerals will have 317,659,276 common shares in issue.
These shares were purchased by China Railway Material and they have increased there share in the company to 12.5%. This was made clear by AML in a press release issued few days ago that:
“African Minerals Limited (AIM: AMI), the iron ore project development company that is developing the Tonkolili project in Sierra Leone, West Africa, is pleased to announce that, further to its press release of 8 December 2010, the Company has now received confirmation from China Railway Materials Commercial Corporation (“CRM”) that CRM will exercise its pre-emption rights to maintain its 12.5% shareholding in AML pursuant to the Subscription Agreement between AML and CRM dated 31 March 2010.
Accordingly CRM will subscribe for 6,991,450 new common shares in AML at the placing price of £4.25, for a total consideration of £29,713,662 (approximately US$46M). Completion of the subscription is expected to occur on or about 20 January 2011”.
The Executive Chairman, Frank Timis, commented that “CRM’s additional equity contribution, together with the ongoing support of other major shareholders, to fund the continued development of the project provides a strong endorsement of the quality of the Tonkolili asset, the people and the Company’s overall strategy.”
Since they started operations AML has been focused on the development of the world class iron ore deposit at Tonkolili and its related rail and port infrastructure.
African Minerals aims to build value for its shareholders, and maintain a strong commitment to its social and environmental responsibilities in all areas of its operations.
On the health, safety and environment, African Minerals has always had a clear vision in all matters of HSE&S and Risk, which will enable us to match best practices within the mining industry and, wherever possible, exceed them. AML aim to set the benchmark standard for West Africa and become the mining operation of choice for professionals in this region.
Their goal is to ensure a consistent level of good Health, Safety, Security Risk and Emergency Response management in the short-term, by applying a risk based approach. Last year they conducted a full review and restructuring of HSE&S, and put key management in place to cover all our strategic positions. They also implemented a structured incident reporting/response procedure, and engaged an international standard emergency evacuation service provider.
By Austin Thomas in China