Finweek English Edition - - COMPANIES & INVESTMENTS -

Say what you want about Eskom, the sup­ply of coal to the power util­ity re­mains one of the more solid busi­ness cases in South African min­ing. There’s lit­tle risk of over­sup­ply. Eskom reck­ons it needs 4bn tons of ther­mal qual­ity coal be­tween now and 2040 of which about half is not yet con­tracted.

So it’s no co­in­ci­dence Fire­stone En­ergy, JSE-listed, is f ighting off a takeover pro­posal by Aus­tralians Range River Gold – an of­fer it deems op­por­tunis­tic (it is) and that doesn’t pay the Fire­stone share­hold­ers for the strate­gic na­ture of the Water­berg Joint Ven­ture. The Water­berg Joint Ven­ture is a ther­mal coal mine in Lim­popo province. An­other is Boikara- belo owned by Re­source Gen­er­a­tion.

Like Fire­stone En­ergy, Re­source Gen­er­a­tion (Resgen) is pri­mar­ily listed in Aus­tralia, but has a sec­ondary Jo­han­nes­burg pres­ence.

What’s in­ter­est­ing about Resgen is that it’s f in­ally raised f inance – about $123m – for Boikara­belo, a pro­posed 6Mtpa mine of which half will be sold to Eskom.

The rest is be­ing sup­plied to No­ble Group, a Sin­ga­pore-based trad­ing house that pro­vided the loan and which could trig­ger the ad­di­tional $300m in loans re­quired to fully fund Boikara­belo.

Paul Jury, MD of Resgen, likens it to a “who blinks f irst” West­ern moment. With the ini­tial f inance in for Boikara-

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