JUNE represented a turning of the tide for Michael Carvill and his Mozambique-based Moma mineral sands project after Kenmare Resources, a company he has run for more than 30 years, nearly ran aground. It was in that month that shareholders approved a massive $275m share placement which, at a stroke, reduced net debt to $100m and left the company with $75m in working capital. At around the same time, ilmenite prices, which had declined to $80/t at end-2015 from $400/t in 2011, started to revive. Much remains to be done to win back shareholder trust, but at least the actual asset – Moma – is performing. The mine regularly achieved monthly production records last year which is crucial in generating the cash flow that will help Kenmare deleverage its balance sheet further. Carvill has new board members from State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman, one of its major shareholders that took up a cornerstone $100m in the share offer. State-owned Empresa Moçambicana de Exploração Miniera, however, passed on $1m in warrants in the firm in October.
LIFE OF MICHAEL
Carvill, who earned a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University, Belfast, has been ‘in the wars’ over the years. He was kicked out of Sudan amid an Islamic revolution and searched in vain for gold in the Philippines shortly after the end of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship. Moma has been Carvill’s biggest trial, however.
“We just want to focus on making the thing [Moma] sing.”
- Web Address: www.kenmareresources.com