In a statement las week, New Dawn said it was engaging directly with various indigenisation investors, adding the identity of the would be shareholders were provided at a meeting with the Indigenisation ministry and the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) in January.
The group has four prospective indigenous investor groups who have to receive certification from NIEEB to qualify as indigenous investors.
However, New Dawn said it has not received any official communication from the ministry or the NIEEB.
Apart from the proposal to dispose of 36% to investors, New Dawn proposed the establishment of an employee share-ownership-scheme and community trusts aggregating approximately 15% equity share of the company’s Zimbabwe subsidiaries. This, the company said, would facilitate a broad-based participation in New Dawn’s Zimbabwe mining operations by indigenous Zimbabweans.
New Dawn’s Zimbabwe operating subsidiaries, Casmyn Mining Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, Falcon Gold Zimbabwe Limited and Olympus Gold Mines Limited, are currently non-indigenous companies as defined by the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.
On the allegation that the company attempted to circumvent the indigenisation process by transferring Chiutsa base metal block of claims, the group said the reason they segmented the base metal block of claims to Great Punch Investments was for financing, management and operational purposes only, adding base metals were a completely different sector compared to gold mining.
“The evaluation of the base metal claims is at a preliminary stage, and any future exploration and development would be over a period of several years. Any additional work on these claims would be contingent on favourable exploration results, access to suitable financing, and other factors,” said CEO Ian Saunders.
The finalisation of the indigenisation plan and the funding from these indigenous investor groups is expected to provide New Dawn with access to additional capital to support its efforts to lift annualised gold production to a monthly run-rate of approximately 100 000 ounces by December 2014.
At an annual general meeting held on Wednesday, the group said it was looking at ways of cutting down on labour under phase III, but at the same time getting more throughput.
The group said Venus Mine is now back on track but financing remained a challenge. Should New Dawn access funding production at the mine would increase five to seven fold.