S.Africa's Baroka prepares up to $150 mln for Atlatsa's mine stake - source

Mon May 11, 2015 11:46am EDT
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By Tiisetso Motsoeneng

JOHANNESBURG May 11 (Reuters) - South Africa's Baroka Platinum will offer up to 1.8 billion rand ($150 million) for Atlatsa Resources' stake in the joint venture Bokoni mine, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said Monday.

Toronto-based Atlatsa owns 51 percent of the mine and the rest is in the hands of Anglo American Platinum, which has already said it plans to sell its stake in the mine that produced 170,000 tonnes of platinum group metals last year.

Baroka Platinum, part of the Baroka Tribal Mining business founded to help the impoverished Ga-Nkwana community, has already offered 3 billion rand for Amplats' stake in the mine, documents seen by Reuters in February showed.

Amplats' stake in the four-shaft mine includes 1.7 billion rand loaned to Atlatsa by the Anglo American unit.

Baroka Platinum aims to take advantage of a sector shake-up as producers sell off underperforming and labour-intensive shafts to improve profitability after last year's record five-month miners' strike.

Atlatsa spokeswoman Prudence Lebina said the company has not received any offer for the stake in the Bokoni mine, which is the firm's only operating asset.

The proposed deal would give Baroka Platinum, which currently relies on royalty payments, its first production asset and allow it to funnel more money from the Bokoni mine to fulfill its stated mandate of building schools, clinics and roads for the Ga-Nkwana community's 90,000 people.

The community is located in the north-eastern part of South Africa in the Limpopo province.   Continued...