COPPER 360 has finally released its pre-listing statement (PLS) after getting approval from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and will list on the JSE’s AltX sector on April 21 after raising up to R152.4m through a private placement of 38.1 million shares.
While much of the business strategy outlined in the PLS runs as per previously communicated by Copper 360, it does include the name of an interesting and surprising new investor.
The copper junior has been created through merger of the extensive Northern Cape copper rights and projects controlled by mining entrepreneur Shirley Hayes’s SHIP mining company and the SX-EW (solvent extraction – electro-winning) plant set up by Jan Nelson to recover copper from dump material on the site of the former O’kiep Copper Mine at Nababeep.
Hayes is the chairman and controlling shareholder in Copper 360 while Nelson – the former CEO of Pan African Resources – is the CEO.
Its short term plans are to push copper cathode production from the SX-EW plant from the current 50 tons a month to 660t/month of copper cathode and copper metal in concentrate over the next three years.
That metal will come from the current surface esources at the Nababeep plant as well as from the first of the planned new operations on the ground controlled by SHIP which is the Rietberg mine.
The 19,000 hectares of mineral rights held by SHIP to the north of the town of Springbok contains 12 former copper mines and 60 copper prospects. SHIP’s original plans were to mine this area on a modular basis setting up a series of small mines which would have their production treated through a central processing plant.
Three critical aspects revealed in the PLS are the identity of Copper360’s new backer as well as just how seriously the company is taking the social challenges of operating amongst the impoverished Northern Cape communities and the extent to which Nelson has “skin in the game”.
The new backer is the Ekapa Consortium in which the key shareholder is former trade unionist and politician Marcel Golding who subsequently went into business co-founding Hosken Consolidated Investments.
Ekapa’s CEO is Jan Hohne who runs Kimberley Ekapa Minerals (KEM) which employs 1,500 workers recovering diamonds from surface dumps and underground operations around Kimberley.
Ekapa will become a 15% shareholder in Copper 360.
“Ekapa were keen to diversify their business. We were keen to have them on board because of their skill sets in mining and processing – in particular upgrading surface material – which we believe could help our operations”.
As a performance guarantee Nelson has struck a private agreement to sell Ekapa 10 million of his own Copper 360 shares at a price of one cent each “in the event that Copper 360 produces less than 7740t of copper metal over the period of date of listing to February 28 2025 placing his personal wealth at risk in order to secure the Ekapa consortium’s participation in the funding of the group.”
Then Copper 360 has appointed Quinton Adams as an independent non-executive director. Adams is a psychologist – and former professor at the University of Stellenbosch – who is a legend in the Western Cape because of his pioneering social work amongst the Coloured communities.
He has designed, built and delivered shacks to poor communities in his personal capacity for which work he has been recognised as a “South African Hero” by eTV. He has also carried out research into crime amongst some of the most dangerous communities on the Cape Flats.
Nelson said Adams involvement will be crucial in helping Copper 360 deal with social issues in the Northern Cape where impoverished communities are often “anti-mining” because of previous experiences with the mining companies that have operated in the region.