Anglo Pt may drop Nkwe claim

David McKay | Wed, 16 May 2007 09:00

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[] -- ANGLO Platinum is to drop a legal claim involving the empowerment partner of Australia's Nkwe Platinum, a development that provides the exploration firm a boost ahead of its secondary listing in South Africa.

Anglo Platinum was to take the minerals and energy department (DME) and Genorah Resources to court after it queried the award of five farms to Genorah. Genroah acquired the farms following the change in South African mineral legislation in 2004.

Genorah CEO, Maredi Mphahlele, said Anglo Platinum was now reviewing its position. "There has been a change in the way Anglo Platinum is headed. We anticipate positive steps from the court case over the next month." Mphahlele was speaking at Mining Journal's Platinum & Palladium Day.

Anglo American, which owns about 74% of the JSE-listed Anglo Platinum, recently said it would not to lodge a suit of expropriation against the South African government following the 2004 minerals legislation.

This attempt at reconciliation is thought to comprise one half of a quid pro quo in which Anglo Platinum succeeds in having its empowerment plans passed by the South African government.

"We're quite comfortable with Anglo Platinum's claim against the DME. We're continuing with business as usual," Mphahlele said.

Genorah vended 74% of the two farms into Nkwe in exchange for shares in the Australia-listed explorer. The farms are estimated to have up to 50 million ounces of platinum group metals near Steelpoort.

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Genorah plans to vend another three neighbouring farms on strike into Nkwe in time for the new listings, giving it an unassailable dominant position of 80% in Nkwe, which up until recently had the relatively small De Wildt project on the southern tip of the Western Limb as its flagship project.

Mphahlele said the secondary listing of Nkwe Platinum was on schedule for the middle of the year. "We've had some reasonable interest from the South African institutions," he said. There were no plans to raise capital in the listing planned to be on Johannesburg's main board.

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