BORN of the Bushveld Minerals group, which Viljoen helped establish, AfiTin aims to restore Namibia’s Uis mine to production. The mine was iced in the Nineties amid a collapsing tin price; before that, however, it had been operating for most of the twentieth century. In AfriTin’s hands, Uis has the benefit of a more supportive metal price. According to the International Tin Research Institute, the relatively small 300,000 tonne/year primary tin industry will be under-supplied some time this year. Yes, there are other new projects on the block, but not many with existing technology and infrastructure. At least, that’s the theory. First, though, Viljoen is taking the precaution of developing a pilot plant the cost of which will be financed with the £4.5m AfiTin raised following its November London listing. Viljoen is also working on the 136m tonne Madagascar thermal coal project, Imaloto – a prospect that is held through another arm of the Bushveld Minerals group, Lemur Energy. Viljoen thinks a recent power purchase agreement with the Malagasy government indicates political will in developing the project in a part of southern Madagascar where infrastructure is in short supply. A 60MW power station will cost $200m to build – an amount that dwarfs the $14m Lemur has so far put into the mine, but these are early days.
LIFE OF ANTHONY
Anthony Viljoen is from a family of geologists and mining entrepeneurs so it seems inevitable he would take to trotting through Africa in search of the next big thing. He founded the VM Investment Company which has been knocking on the door of mainstream mining investment for years. Suddenly, the signs suggest success. He is an occasional road runner, who can be seen tackling the ups and downs of upmarket Johannesburg suburb, Sandton. He is married with two children.
- Web Address: www.afritinmining.com