Slowed down by due process
BERNARD SWANEPOEL HOPES to have Village Main Reef Gold Mining (Village) set up with R20m to invest by early January 2009 and a clear strategy in place by endFebruary. Swanepoel is currently taking over Village through his operating company – To The Point Investments – which will own between 48% and 87% of Village depending on the extent to which minorities take up their rights.
Village’s price shot up from a 12-month low of 21c to a high of 400c/share on the news of Swanepoel’s involvement but currently trades at around 170c.
Swanepoel says he’s “concerned, frustrated and irritated” by the length of time it’s taken to put the Village scheme in place. He attributes that to the legal and administrative processes, many of which he describes as “bureaucratic nonsense”. The reason for his frustration lies in the investment opportunities now becoming available due to the credit crunch in global financial markets.
Swanepoel has so far invested in those through To The Point, taking stakes in unlisted Delta Mining Consolidated – which has coal and iron ore assets in SA and Liberia – and unlisted Dengetenge Platinum, which controls a deep-level platinum project near Steelpoort.
Says Swanepoel: “We’re still not sure whether Village will go into gold or into nongold commodities, such as coal. The attraction of the coal sector is that there are plenty of projects still at such early stages they’re