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Nigerian Energy tycoon Benedict Peters to settle mining dispute between Zimbabwe and Amari Platinum

Bravura Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd. will offset a $15-million debt that Zimbabwe owes Amari Holdings Ltd. 

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Nigerian billionaire Benedict Peters.

Bravura Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd., majority-owned by Nigerian businessman Benedict Peters, is set to offset a $15-million debt Zimbabwe owes Amari Holdings Ltd. 

Peters is a Nigerian billionaire and founder of the Aiteo Group, one of Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil-producing firms. As of 2020, Naija Auto estimated his net worth at $2.7 billion, ranking him fifth on the list of the 10 wealthiest Nigerians. 

Amari Holdings is a British Virgin Islands-based miner founded by Mike Nunn, a South African mining entrepreneur.

In 2019, Reuters reported that Zimbabwe awarded a concession to Bravura Holdings to mine platinum on its mineral-rich Greak Dyke. The deal was part of efforts by President Emerson Mnangagwa’s administration to revive the country’s mining sector after years of foreign investors exiting the market during his predecessor Robert Mugabe’s rule.

Bloomberg Quint reported that Peters approached Amari Holdings, seeking a settlement with the company after receiving the award to mine the platinum prospect it once held. Bravura would explore for platinum to help the government pay $15 million in settlement to Amari Platinum.

The deal comes after more than 10 years of legal conflict between the Zimbabwean government and Amari Holdings following the abrupt cancellation of nickel and platinum ventures formed in 2007 and 2008 by Mugabe’s government. 

Amari signed a joint venture agreement with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation to explore the Serui concession in Selous in Mashonaland West Province.  

However, the government withdrew its right to operate the concession after years of hard work. Amari identified economically viable resources worth 18 million ounces of platinum, an exploration project in which it invested millions of dollars, The Zimbabwe Mail reported.

Amari sued Zimbabwe in the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) in Paris, France, over the canceled platinum concession dispute. It initially sued the government for $500 million, but it is now settling for $15 million after years of litigation. 

In 2015, the country plunged into economic hardship, with some assets abroad seized, after the cash-strapped ZMDC lost a drawn-out legal case against Amari Holdings at the ICA. The court ruled that the ZMDC caused Amari damages of $54 million, ordering it to reimburse the funds to the company, Mike Campbell Foundation Resources reported.

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Led by South African mogul Neal Froneman, Sibanye-Stillwater slashes output target for U.S. mines

The news comes nearly two months after it suspended operations in Montana for seven weeks.

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Neal Froneman.

Sibanye-Stillwater has reduced its output forecast this year for its palladium and platinum mines in Montana by more than 20 percent due to operational challenges caused by regional floods.

Sibanye-Stillwater is a multinational precious metal mining company based in South Africa. Under the leadership of CEO Neal Froneman, the company is involved in gold and base metals mining in South Africa and the Americas.

The South African mining company has reduced its output forecast for its palladium and platinum mines in Montana to 445,000 to 460,000 ounces in 2022 from 550,000 to 580,000 ounces earlier this year.

The decision to reduce its output forecast comes nearly two months after it suspended operations in Montana for seven weeks due to regional floods that disrupted operations on June 13.

Stillwater’s Montana mine accounts for ab08t 60 percent of the mined production from its U.S. PGM operations.

Aside from operational challenges, the decision to reduce its output forecast can be linked to expectations that the palladium market will swing into surplus by the middle of this decade, necessitating operational repositioning in the event of future price weakness.

“Hence, with our view of the palladium market plus the macroeconomic environment we are going to be dealing with going forward, we really need to reconsider what’s the best way of extracting value out of the assets,” Froneman said.

The company’s cautious approach may also result in the postponement of spending on its Blitz project in Montana, as Froneman stated: “It just doesn’t seem to make good or smart commercial sense to spend millions or billions on a capital project that will deliver into price weakness in the future.”

Shares in the mining firm closed trading on Friday at R40.68 ($2.52), 6.14-percent lower than their opening price on the local bourse, in response to the decision to cut its output forecast in the United States, while maintaining the output profile for its operations in South Africa.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s market cap is R115 billion ($7.1 billion) at current prices, while Froneman’s minority 0.074-percent stake in the company is valued at R85.1 million ($5.26 million).

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Led by South African Mouton family, PSG embarks on strategic restructuring

The South African Mouton family owns 24.5 percent of the company.

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Piet Mouton.

PSG Group, a South African investment holding founded and led by the Mouton family, has begun restructuring its business.

At the investment holding’s general meeting on Aug. 10, more than 95 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the company’s strategic restructuring, unbundling its stakes in the listed subsidiaries that it owns and delisting from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

As part of the restructuring, the group will unbundle its stake in subsidiaries such as PSG Konsult, Curro, Kaap Agri, and CA&S, as well as its 25.1-percent stake in Stadio, a tertiary education company.

Shareholders will not receive unbundled shares in these subsidiaries, and there will be no scheme consideration in the group.

PSG Group is a South African investment holding company, with positions in banking, education, finance, and consumer goods.

The South African Mouton family owns 24.5 percent of the company, which includes stakes held by family members like Petrus and Johannes Mouton, who serve as executives in the group.

The restructuring comes after years of attempting to close the gap between the holding’s JSE share price and its intrinsic worth, which management believes is far greater than its local exchange valuation.

The average discount between PSG and the firms in which it holds stakes is more than 40 percent, which can be attributed to investors preferring to invest directly in operating companies rather than through a holding corporation.

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South African billionaire Johann Rupert-linked SEACOM partners with BT Group

Seacom is privately funded and 75 percent African-owned.

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Johann Rupert. ©Billionaires.Africa

SEACOM has announced a strategic alliance with UK telecommunications service provider BT Group as it prepares to enter the African enterprise cybersecurity market.

SEACOM is a leading pan-African telecom services provider linked to South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert.

The partnership aligns with SEACOM’s plans to expand its portfolio of services targeting African businesses. By leveraging BT Group’s infrastructure and expertise, SEACOM hopes to secure its own infrastructure and deliver new networking and security solutions to African businesses.

“With SEACOM’s global network and local presence and BT’s global reach and expertise, we will be able to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of cloud, security, and connectivity services that are reliable, scalable, and at the cutting-edge of the industry,” Oliver Fortuin, CEO of SEACOM, said.

BT Group, which protects some of the world’s largest organizations from cyber threats through a dedicated network of security operations centers around the world, announced that SEACOM customers will gain access to BT Group’s Cloud Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) platform.

The SIEM platform provides real-time visibility and monitoring across an organization’s entire IT environment, acting as an additional layer of security to SEACOM’s existing ICT solutions.

Seacom, which bills itself as Africa’s most extensive ICT infrastructure provider, is privately funded and 75-percent African-owned, with Rupert’s investment holding Remgro owning 30 percent of the company.

South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe owns a 15-percent stake in the pan-African telecom services provider through his financial services conglomerate, Sanlam.

Jubilee Holdings, a Kenyan investment holding backed by Aga Khan IV (Shah Karim al-Husayni), increased its stake in SEACOM from 8.8 to 18.8 percent earlier this year after acquiring an additional 10-percent stake in the company.

According to Nizar Juma, chairman of Jubilee Holdings, the transaction will strengthen the company’s ability to diversify its investment priorities across major sectors of the economy.

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