China International Mining Group Corporation (CIMGC), the majority shareholder in Mwana Africa plc, tightened its grip on the mining group after it yesterday appointed several directors to the board of its Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) division and removed others.
The changes were announced by BNC deputy chairman David Murangari at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in the capital on Thursday.
At the AGM, James Arthur, Herman Jacobs and Thomas Mashungupa were removed as directors of the company.
Ngoni Kudenga and Kalaa Mpinga, who had initially offered themselves for re-election, resigned prior to the AGM.
Only Oliver Chidawu retained his directorship.
Shareholders unanimously voted for the appointment of Johaness Hendrikus Lampen, Vanessa Yam, Boajin Zhao and Olivier Alain Barbeau as new directors.
Sources said the choice of chairman would be made at a board meeting.
These changes come at a time when a minority shareholder a few months ago called for an extraordinary General Meeting that saw Mpinga, a founding director of Mwana Africa, stepping down from his position of CEO and the appointment of Scott Morrison, Mark Wellesley-Wood, Oliver Barbeau and Anne-Marie Chidzero to the board of Mwana Africa.
Mwana is being headed by new chairman Yat Hoi Ning, who has assumed an executive role in the absence of a CEO.
Ning is a non-executive director and associate of CIMGC — Mwana’s biggest shareholders — holding 21,4% equity stake.
Separately, Ning has 7,6% equity stake, bringing his combined equity stake in the multi commodity miner to 29%.
At the AGM to be held on September 29 in London, a resolution will be put to shareholders to appoint Ching Fung Brian Hung to the board as a non-executive director.
In February this year, Mwana’s 74,73% owned BNC successfully raised US$20 million through the issue of a five-year bond in Zimbabwe, which will enable the company to restart operations at its Trojan nickel mine.
BNC, Africa’s only integrated nickel company, with a mine, smelter and refinery, had its smelter and refinery closed more than 10 years ago after nickel prices fell and Zimbabwe’s economy went into recession, rendering operations unprofitable.
BNC posted a profit after tax of US$11,1 million for the year ended March 31, 2015 down from US$23,6 million recorded the prior year.
Average nickel price during the year stood at US$16 700 per tonne compared to US$14 298 per tonne the previous year.
Mwana Africa PLC is a pan-African, multi-commodity mining and development company. Mwana’s principal operations and exploration activities cover gold, nickel, copper and diamonds in Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.