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Dar in the dark over sale of Williamson Diamond

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Jan 11, 2009
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    Dar in the dark over sale of Williamson Diamond

    [​IMG]
    Mining equipment at Williamson Diamond Ltd in Mwadui, Shinyanga. A team of experts is scrutinising Tanzania's mining laws and policy ahead of a thorough review of both so that Tanzanians are assured of more direct benefits from the mining sector. Photo/FILE

    By JOINT REPORT
    THE EAST AFRICAN

    Posted Saturday, January 10 2009 at 10:42​

    The mystery surrounding the ownership of Tanzania's largest diamond mine - Williamson Diamond Ltd - has deepened with the acquisition by a new Middle Eastern investors' group of a majority share in Petra Diamonds Ltd, the South Africa-based firm that last year purportedly bought a 75 per cent share in Williamson.

    The EastAfrican has established that the Dubai-based Saad Investments Company has acquired 43 per cent shares in Petra Diamonds, a Bermuda-registered company with offices in South Africa and the UK, which in September 2008 reportedly "issued" $10 million to purchase Williamson Diamond from South African giant De Beers.

    De Beers owns 75 per cent of Williamson through its investment arm, a holding company called Wilcroft Ltd, while the Tanzania government owns 25 per cent.

    The mystery arises in the first place because the Tanzania government which, despite being a minority shareholder, has the right to approve any transfer or sale of De Beers' majority shareholding - says it rejected the Petra offer, while the Petra website continues to claim that it is about to add Williamson to its stable.

    In October 2008, the government issued a statement denying media reports that De Beers had sold its shares in Williamson Diamond.

    According to the Petra website, "Petra Diamonds is a rapidly growing diamond-mining group, focused on the African continent.

    A number of recent acquisitions have established Petra as one of the world's largest independent diamond groups by resources, with a total resource base of 265 million carats, worth $27.3 billion.

    "In South Africa, Petra has five producing mines - Cullinan, Koffiefontein, Helam, Sedibeng and Star. The group has also reached agreement to acquire two further assets from De Beers - the Kimberley Underground mines, also in South Africa, and the Williamson mine in Tanzania.

    "The group is on track to increase its annual production from 200,000 carats in the year to June 2008 to over one million carats in the year to June 2009."

    No Petra spokesmen were available on phone last week to confirm the reports, as the office was closed for end of year holidays.

    But an official with Petra Diamonds told The EastAfrican from the UK last week that as far as she knows, the bid by Petra to acquire 75 per cent of Williamson has not been completed yet.

    "This sale has not been completed yet. When it's through, we will announce that," she said.

    Saad Investments is registered in the Cayman Islands and operates out of Saudi Arabia. The company is 70 per cent owned by the trustees of the Saad Settlement (Barclays Private Bank & Trust) and 30 per cent by Maan A. Al-Sanea.

    According to the company, its purpose is to hold and manage the offshore assets of Al-Sanea and his family. The financial arm of the company is based in Geneva, Switzerland.


    The Saad Group employs more than 8,000 people and its activities are conducted from Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, according to the Saad Group's website.

    Last week, the Tanzania government reaffirmed that De Beers had not sold its shares in the country's largest diamond mine and that the shareholding structure still remains the same.

    William Ngeleja, Minister for Energy and Minerals, told The EastAfrican that the government was still in negotiations with Wilcroft, De Beers' holding company, over the sale of its shares in Williamson Diamond.

    Mr Ngeleja said the government is cautious in the way it handles issues that have a direct bearing on the economy and development of the country.


    "Even though it is too early to say anything on the issue, the government has yet to settle some outstanding legal issues with Wilcroft before any transaction to offload shares in the diamond mine can go through," said Mr Ngeleja. "As things stand now, the shareholding structure remains the same."

    He said once the shareholders sort out pending issues, a decision will be made as to how to offload the shares.

    A source at the Tanzania Chamber of Energy and Minerals told The EastAfrican that there were certain legal implications of the sale of shares to Petra Diamonds that needed to be settled before the transaction could be completed.

    Although Gareth Penny, managing director of the De Beers Group, said the sale of its shareholding in Williamson Diamonds is part of an ongoing drive to position the group for long-term growth by reviewing its portfolio of mining assets and focusing on those with the best strategic fit, analysts took it as a signal of disapproval of the upcoming reforms proposed by the Bomani Committee, commissioned by President Jakaya Kikwete last year.

    "As we build the De Beers of the future we are also creating new opportunities for other players in an increasingly diversified and competitive global diamond industry," Mr Penny said.

    Johan Dippenaar, Petra's chief executive officer, had then commented: "Petra already owns three major diamond mines, Cullinan, Koffiefontein and, on completion, Kimberley Underground. Williamson will add a further major mine to our portfolio, with the potential to deliver considerable value to our shareholders."

    Currently, a team of experts is scrutinising Tanzania's mining laws and policy ahead of a thorough review of both so that Tanzanians are assured of more direct benefits from the mining sector.

    The sector is facing numerous challenges, such as its minimal contribution to the gross domestic product in comparison with its growth, minimal monitoring and concerns over export of raw minerals.

    The move to review the mining policy came after Members of Parliament criticised the sale of government shares in Mwadui Diamonds, Kiwira Coal and Bulyankulu Gold mines.


    The 75 per cent share of Williamson was controversially sold by the Tanzanian government in 1994 to De Beers at a mere $180,521, although the company owns land, diamond mines and infrastructure of considerable value, causing an uproar and leading to the formation of a parliamentary probe committee in 2004.

    Analysts say that, at 146 hectares, Williamson is the largest kimberlite pipe ever to be mined, having been operated continuously as an open pit mine for almost 70 years, during which time it has produced over 20 million carats, while some 40 million carats (995 million tonnes of kimberlite) still remain.

    Reported by Joseph Mwamunyange, Wilfred Edwin and Mike Mande
     
  2. Z

    Zungu Pule JF-Expert Member

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  3. K

    Kokolo JF-Expert Member

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    Kwa watu walibobea kwenye International Business and International Taxation, mara nyingi kampuni nyingi ambazo zinafanya fraud nyingi duniani uwa zinapata usajiri Bermuda na Cayman island. Mfano ni hizi kampuni, na nyingine ni capital drilling ambayo hipo hapo Geita mining zote hizo usajili wake uko Bermuda, lakini usoni zimevaa sura kama kampuni za kutoka UK, Canada au USA. zinapofanya manyanga hapo Tanzania hakuna pa kuzikamatia. Nina wasi wasi na viongozi wetu either wapo kwenye haya madili au ni umbumbumbu wa kutoona mbali. very sad.
     
  4. M

    MiratKad JF-Expert Member

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    Jan 12, 2009
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    Does anyone have a copy of the Bomani Committee review report?

    "Even though it is too early to say anything on the issue, the government has yet to settle some outstanding legal issues with Wilcroft before any transaction to offload shares in the diamond mine can go through," said Mr Ngeleja. "As things stand now, the shareholding structure remains the same." He said once the shareholders sort out pending issues, a decision will be made as to how to offload the shares.

    Ngeleja is not serious. How can he say that he is reviewing the structure? Doesnt that mean changing the 75% to 25% shareholding ratios? Otherwise, he might be talking about the details of who owns what and not the structure.
     
  5. A

    Alpha JF-Expert Member

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    Jan 12, 2009
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    Disgusting!!!

    And what was the conclusion of this parliamentary probe?​
     
  6. M

    Mbalamwezi JF-Expert Member

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  7. Mr. Zero

    Mr. Zero JF-Expert Member

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  8. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    #8
    Feb 19, 2009
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    Wednesday Feb 18, 2009

    Mwadui gets new investor at last

    DAILY NEWS
    PIUS RUGONZIBWA, 18th February 2009 @ 09:47


    The Government has at last engaged a new investor, Petra Diamonds Ltd (PTL) from South Africa, to run the Williamson Diamonds Ltd after purchasing 75 per cent shares initially owned by another South African based firm, Willcroft Company Ltd.

    Willcroft Company Ltd, a subsidiary company of Cheviot Holding Ltd of South Africa, had run the mine since 1994 but failed to make any profit for the whole period due to its poor financial and technological base.

    The Minister of Energy and Minerals, Mr William Ngeleja told a news conference today that in early February this year, Willcroft Company Ltd was officially sold to PTL which was automatically granted 75 per cent shares in WDL. The government has retained the 25 per cent shares.

    He said after thorough discussions, investigations and verifications by various experts about due diligence of Petra Diamonds Ltd, the government was convinced that the company would make a right partner to effectively run WDL.

    "The government has principally agreed to the new partnership on condition that PTL should honour all existing contractual agreements with Cheviot Holding Ltd including that of Mwadui Community Diamonds Partnership (MCDP)," the Minister said.

    Another condition is for the new company to carry on with consultations with the government that aim at reviving WDL financially so it could contribute effectively to the national economy. Minister Ngeleja added that the government would also negotiate with the company on the expansion of the mine which will eventually make it possible to produce between 500,000 and 1,000,000 karats of diamond from 200,000 currently produced.

    One karat of diamond at the World Bank is now sold at $100 although it sometimes fluctuates. Earlier, according to the agreement and the feasibility study done by WDL, about $130 million was to be raised by the government and previous partner for the expansion of the mine by end of this year – which would help increase the mine's life span for another 23 years.

    The minister insisted that the government had taken care this time in securing the new investor during the commissioning of the previous one and formed a team of experts led by Judge Mark Bomani to revisit the current production and business performance of WDL.

    He added that another team of experts led by the Commissioner of Mining was deployed to South Africa to thoroughly verify the professional capability, financial capacity, technology and expertise in mining industry and diamond business of the new investor. "The delegation also met the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, financial and legal institutions in South Africa seeking for assurance on the credibility of Petra Diamonds Ltd before final agreements were reached," he said.

    Mr Ngeleja added that the government was convinced that from the reports of experts that the company was credible, and that it had financial and technical capacity to invest at WDL – also based on another proof that it had managed to revive operations in other giant mining companies in South Africa. The minister named the companies as Helam, Cullinan, Koffiefontein and Kimberley which were previously suffering losses before the partnership with PDL.

    On the 30 per cent corporate tax payable to the government by mining companies currently investing in the country, the minister said a special team has since been formed to revisit the companies' feasibility studies and ensure they pay according to the contracts. He said the team will have to check whether there are some of the companies that are cheating on the exact period of paying the taxes. He further reiterated that the government has now decided to seriously invest in the Mineral resources and that in next April it will submit a report on the current policy and Mining Act under review.
     
  9. Buswelu

    Buswelu JF-Expert Member

    #9
    Feb 19, 2009
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    Ngereje is not serious,Hivi ni mpaka lini...hawa jamaa watasema kuwa hawapati faida,faida kwao ni nini?Lini faida watapata....ni kitu gani kinawafanya kuendelea kuwepo kama faida haipatikani?

    North Mara wameweka Security system almost 10Billion...hii ni ukuta kama ngome ya sobibo....cameras na vingine vingi.Bado wanasema hawapati faida wanaendesha kwa faida.Au ndio ile mambo ya target ni 10 unapata 9 unasema hauna faida?Hii ni kutofikika malengo sio hasara....au malengo yalikuwa juu.

    Mgodi wa mwadui uko pale kwa miaka....lakini bado wanataka kuununua makampuni mengine wakati huo huo wanasema hauleti faida!!!Mchangia mmoja kasema kuhusu umakini wa serikari ya tanzania katika ku monitor upatikanaji na wa madini haya unaweza kuwa ni mdogo sana...au hatuna watalaam,au tunao ila wezi....au wakienda uko na kupewa vitu vidogo wanatoa takwimu zisizo sawa kulingana na matakwa ya mwekezaji...so taifa zima linaingia kwenye hasara.Tumeshaona wenzetu wengi wakitu tumbukiza kwenye matatizo...

    China mtu kama anaharibu serikarini....ni risasi tu..tena kwa kujinunulia mwenyewe..sio gharama ya serikari.
    Kwa kweli inauma sana sana....

    Am out
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
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