Looks like Katoro Gold CEO Louis Coetzee has finally gotten the message that – when mining entrepreneur Peter Skeat says he is not selling his Blyvoor dumps to Coetzee’s partner Jan Brits – then best you believe him.
That was something that Coetzee – along with Blyvoor Joint Venture project manager Graham Briggs – seemed strangely reluctant to do over the past month when approached by Miningmx. Both seemed fairly blasé about Skeat’s stance.
Such a relaxed attitude was surprising given Skeat’s track record of being a hard case and a tough customer. Anybody who got the better of the late Brett Kebble deserves to be taken seriously.
But – after an initial announcement and two updates to the London Stock Exchange – Coetzee was finally forced to face up to reality on December 6 when Katoro published a third update on the proposed listing and IPO of the Blyvoor Joint Venture.
This confirmed that Brits’ company – Target Mine Consulting (TMC) – had “failed to deliver all the required documentation to satisfy the last condition precedent” which meant that the acquisition agreement between Katoro and Target had not become unconditional by the stated date of December 2.
That last condition precedent required a signed agreement from one of Skeat’s companies that it had accepted R140m “in full and final settlement of any and all claims it may have against TMC or BGO (Blyvoor Gold Operations – a TMC subsidiary).”
That leaves Coetzee’s proposed listing of the Blyvoor Joint Venture on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) hanging embarrassingly in limbo.
All this got into the public domain from October 27 when Katoro published an upbeat statement to the LSE outlining the proposed listing of the Blyvoor gold dump retreatment venture in glowing terms and setting a deadline of November 1 for confirmation of the R140m payment.
But Coetzee had clearly had not checked with Skeat who, when approached by Miningmx, said he was not selling to Brits. Skeat confirmed he was looking to sell the dumps and had previously given two, six-month options to Brits to buy them but those options had lapsed because Brits had repeatedly failed to come up with the funds.
Neither did Brits come up with the required purchase documentation for Katoro on November 1. Instead he requested – and was granted – an extension to November 30. But he did not make that deadline either so he requested – and again was granted – a second extension to December 3 at which point even Coetzee must have seen the writing on the wall.
According to the December 6 update Katoro “is at the moment considering its position and options in this matter and will update the market accordingly as soon as a decision has been taken on an appropriate course of action.”