Coal dust gets in your eyes
COAL MINING – even opencast coal mining – is a dirty business. But somebody has to do it. It seems Sentula Mining does it well. But its partner, maybe now ex-partner, isn’t playing nicely. The plan – as proposed through numerous Sens announcements – was an exchange of shares between Sentula and Shanduka Resources, which would have given Sentula access to some of Shanduka’s coal assets. The formal part of the agreement was concluded in April this year.
That should have been that. But one of the conditions precedent was the approval of the exchange of shares by Shanduka’s shareholders. They came back and said “no way”. Seems there were other plans afoot. Sure enough, there were. In a Sens that sounds as hurt as a Sens can be, Sentula said it had been advised by an unnamed senior executive of Shanduka that its shareholders had approved the acceptance of an alternative offer for Shanduka’s coal assets.
Sentula’s response was to give Shanduka short notice – to midnight on 30 June 2011 – to mend its ways and accept the offer. Shanduka appears to have given Sentula a polite finger. So it looks as if it all falls apart and comes to nothing.
It’s not just the coal dust that makes coal mining a dirty business. Readers and investors might remember Sentula used to be called Scharrig Mining, named after the Scharrighuisen brothers who founded the company. That was back around 1972 and the company seemed to be doing well, listing on the JSE in 1993.
But the brothers got into trouble and had to leave the company, one by one. Hence the name change. It’s a new company now but doing the same old business.