Lawyers query governance at Metallon

LAWYERS representing Manyame Consortium (Manyame), 30% holders of Metallon Gold Zimbabwe (MGZ) this week wrote to MGZ’s South African parent Metallon Corporation (Metallon) questioning a number of corporate governance issues at the

group.


This comes amid reports that cabinet on Tuesday discussed Metallon’s operations and that it must cede at least 50% of its shareholding to Zimbabweans.


A spokesman for Manyame said the correspondence was aimed at enforcing the empowerment group’s rights at board level as well as investment.


The letters were a follow-up to messages dispatched to Metallon’s Harare and Johannesburg offices on April 7 and May 11, respectively.


In the correspondence, Manyame shareholder and chairman John Mkushi raised four keys issues:


* that there has not been any board meeting since March 31, 2004 and none are scheduled for this year;


* that board members representing the indigenous consortium have not been furnished with information pertaining the company’s operations;


* that the annual general meeting for the year ended September 30, 2004 has not been held and it is unclear when it going to be held; and


* that Manyame wants to know the status of its loan account and how much money has been paid in respect of its US$8 million debt, meant to securitise its stake


Since it took a 30% stake in MGZ three years ago, Manyame has been in the dark about the operations of the five-mine gold group, formerly known as Independence Gold Mining Zimbabwe and owned by Lonmim plc.


The consternation it has created adds to the drama and court battles surrounding Manyame’s participation in the group.


Businessdigest reported a month ago that principal Metallon owner Mzi Khumalo had tried to buy-out Manyame shareholders, with a US$3 million offer.


At a time Metallon is being sued in the High Court by a suitor, Stanmarker Mining, the latest episode also clouds its listing intentions.


Khumalo and group executive Greg Hunter unrolled Metallon’s R300 million listing plans at a mining indaba in Cape Town earlier this year and Deutsche Securities has been commissioned to do the prospectus.


Hunter said in May said that they had overlooked complexities in the listing process, but Metallon would be worth nearly R2 billion once listed.

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