JOHANNESBURG (Business Day) -- The company recently appointed new, well-connected directors to its board, including Thys du Toit, one of the founders of Coronation Fund Managers, who resigned as CEO in November last year and is now a nonexecutive direct of Coronation.
Other appointments are Grant Thornton, Zambia senior partner Edgar Hamuwele and Zambia University professor of mining and metallurgy Stephen Simukanga.
ZCI, which sold its stake in the Konkola Copper Mine in Zambia to Vedanta Resources in April for $213.5 million after a lengthy dispute over valuations, recently made an offer to shareholders to buy all their shares at $1.8648 or R16.97 a share. Only 55.9% of the shares were sold back to the company.
That should leave ZCI with 55,67-million shares in issue and a net asset value of $1.84 or R16.88 a share, based on the latest available balance sheet at end-March.
Because ZCI received acceptances from less than 78% of the shares in issue, it still complies with the JSE's shareholder spread requirements and will retain its JSE listing as long as it posts a follow-up circular to shareholders on its plans before January 9.
In its circular sent to shareholders ahead of the buyout offer, ZCI said it would relaunch itself as a mining and minerals group and retain a public listing. It had appointed iCapital Management Services to identify and recommend suitable investments.
ZCI said it wanted to invest in projects at different levels of development, from exploration to early stage opportunities. It was interested in tailings dams, the residue of past mining, where a number of owners of copper tailings were looking for partners with capital to bring their assets into production.
ZCI is pursuing opportunities in the commodities supply chain and management said it was considering a uranium project in Zambia where it would help to fund development in return for buying a portion of the uranium produced for selling to third parties. Also in the energy sector, ZCI could develop a long-term source of electricity to service resources projects.
Target countries for its investment strategy would be Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, it said.
ZCI's shares, which are infrequently traded, leapt 50% or 600c to R18 on the JSE yesterday in a single deal, implying a 6% premium to net asset value. The shares slid from above R15 to around R12 in the recent market collapse, suffering less than many other small mining groups, partly because of their illiquidity and partly because of the buyback offer.