Nick Von Schirnding
Rainmakers & Potstirrers

Nick Von Schirnding


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‘The deal we have secured is without doubt the best earn-in exploration transaction ever drafted’

AFTER several years of shadow-boxing each other, Arc Minerals and Anglo American finally agreed a joint venture to explore the highly prospective Domes copper resource in northwestern Zambia. Von Schirnding, a former Anglo staffer, could not be more excited about it, declaring his deal with Anglo was nothing short of the best exploration earn-in ever drafted. That would take some doing but in essence it does amount to a sizeable commitment with Anglo pumping $74m into exploration over seven years. It will also pay Arc Minerals $14.5m for 70% ownership of the joint venture company.

The first $3.5m tranche to Arc was completed last year and will be followed by $1m payments a year for three years followed by an $8m bullet payment. “The excitement starts now,” burred Von Schirnding in an October conference call to investors. Applications for three licences have been made and results ought to start flowing quickly. “We are desperate for the results,” he added. The market is watchful, however. Shares in Arc were flat last year although broker WH Ireland said it expected drill results to catalyse the share over time.

Von Schirnding’s enthusiasm is based on the fact that the Domes prospect is near three major copper mines in First Quantum’s Sentinel and Kansanshi operations and Lumwana, Barrick’s copper/gold mine. Zambia was once the stamping ground of Anglo’s copper production so its return is significant. Arc is hoping to progress another copper discovery in Sub-Saharan Africa’s newest copperbelt in Botswana. There’s a project in Namibia that has also caught the eye.


After graduating from the University of Cape Town with a law degree, Von Schirnding joined Anglo American where he spent 19 years including two at De Beers, four years at Minorco, and 11 years at its investor relations which he headed. Since then Von Schirnding has held down various positions as director, CEO and chair of several mining companies including Arc, which he chairs, and Ortec. He is also consultant to Apollo Global Management.

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