ASA Re­source Group closes Harare, Jo’burg of­fices

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter

ASA Re­source Group has closed down its of­fices in Harare and Jo­han­nes­burg as part of a ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion ex­er­cise.

The for­mer Mwana Africa min­ing group owns Bin­dura Nickel Cor­po­ra­tion and Freda Rebecca Gold Mine in Mashona­land Cen­tral province.

Group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Yat Hoi Ning also said the stream­lin­ing of their United King­dom and Hong Kong of­fices was al­most com­plete.

“The process of ra­tio­nal­is­ing sub­sidiaries into de­fined com­mod­ity groups is well ad­vanced. Some of these mat­ters are legally quite com­plex due to en­ti­ties be­ing reg­is­tered in dif­fer­ent ju­ris­dic­tions.

“Stream­lin­ing the UK and Hong Kong of­fices is more or less com­plete and in this quar­ter we fur­ther ra­tio­nalised our African ad­min­is­tra­tive func­tion by clos­ing Jo­han­nes­burg and Harare, bring­ing im­por­tant du­ties closer to our op­er­at­ing mines in Bin­dura,” he said.

Mr Ning said the group’s cor­po­rate over­head was now at an all-time his­tor­i­cal low of about $3 mil­lion per an­num (ex­clud­ing project ex­plo­ration and li­cens­ing fees).

“While I’m pleased with this hard-earned per­for­mance, we must be con­stantly vig­i­lant about con­trol­ling costs and to re­move un­nec­es­sary waste. A low-cost base will ben­e­fit us when com­mod­ity prices start to rise again.

This re-or­gan­i­sa­tion has also helped drive down costs at mine level and the ex­ec­u­tive be­lieve that op­por­tu­ni­ties re­main to im­pact fur­ther on C1/C3 costs, es­pe­cially at Freda Rebecca,” said Mr Ning.

“When one con­sid­ers that the com­bined AISC an­nual costs at our op­er­at­ing mines are in the re­gion of $120 mil­lion, any po­ten­tial sav­ings could be sig­nif­i­cant.”

For ex­am­ple, he said if a fur­ther five to 10 per­cent re­duc­tion could be achieved from op­er­a­tions, and an­nual sav­ings can also be suf­fi­cient to start one of the group’s other as­sets or help main­tain their many valu­able ex­plo­ration li­cences.

Through­out the year, he noted that the group’s board set out to en­gage much more with share­hold­ers.

“It recog­nises it may have cut costs too far in cer­tain ar­eas, such as in­vestor re­la­tions and cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, how­ever, in an ef­fort to re­dress this, part of the sav­ings from re­struc­tur­ing is be­ing re-in­vested.

“For ex­am­ple, in the com­ing quar­ters we will launch a new web­site and in­vest in im­proved in­vestor com­mu­ni­ca­tions,” he said.

Mr Ning said the ben­e­fit of keep­ing stake­hold­ers in­formed of the group’s progress is re­flected in the much-im­proved mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion and the pos­i­tive feed­back they con­tinue to re­ceive from many share­hold­ers and ad­vi­sors. — @okazunga

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