Shake-up at BNC

BNC_PLANT_LTinashe Makichi Business Reporter
Mwana Africa Plc is set to restructure its gold and nickel mining portfolios to reflect the interests of its Chinese shareholder, China International Mining Group Corporation.

This follows the ouster of five Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) board members at the annual general meeting yesterday.

Mwana Africa is BNC’s parent company.

BNC acting chairman Mr David Murangari told The Herald Business that the departure of directors at the nickel miner will see a massive re-organisation of Freda Rebecca and Trojan mine operations.

“There is going to be a re-organisation to try and streamline services between two sister companies, Freda Rebecca and Trojan Mine following the changes that have happened within the BNC board.

“There is going to be another finance director following the departure of Mr Herman Jacobs but at the moment we have not figured out how the structure will look like,” said Mr Murangari.

The departure of the five board directors, finance director Mr Jacobs, technical director Mr Thomas Mashungupa and another board member Mr James Arthur was confirmed at the AGM while former CEO Mr Kalaa Mpinga and ex-Mwana board member did not seek re-elections.

The AGM saw the appointment of Mr Johannes Lampen, Ms Vanessa Yam, Mr Boajin Zhao and Mr Olivier Barbeau into the board while businessman Mr Oliver Chidawu was re-elected.

Mr David Murangari told the AGM that Mr Mashungupa had previously been offered a new appointment within the Mwana Africa Plc portfolio but eventually resigned in the process.

“Mr Mashungupa who was the technical director of BNC was offered a new position within Mwana but however, he filed his resignation letter before this AGM so he is no longer part of the group,” said Mr Murangari.

The AGM also announced that Mr Mpinga did not offer himself for re-election as director of the company.

Despite his ouster Mr Mpinga still controls 39 208 675 shares which is 2,8 percent of Mwana’s issued share capital directly and through Palanka and Katema Mukubayi Trusts, and also holding an additional 666 667 shares in BNC.

Following the exit of Mr Mpinga at Mwana, Mr Yat Hoi Ning, formerly interim non-executive chairman became executive chairman for the group and Mr Scott Morrison, who was appointed as a non-executive director at the EGM became senior independent non-executive director.

Mr Murangari said production at Trojan is expected to be lower compared to the previous quarter as more plant shut downs are expected during the period.

He said there is also going to be a shaft re-deepening at Trojan and replacement of concentrator plant equipment which is going to affect production during the quarter.

BNC’s production of nickel in concentrate during the last quarter went down 34 percent to 1 349 tonnes compared to 2 032 tonnes in the fourth quarter FY2015 primarily due to a reduction in average head grade and recoveries.

He said the smelter project work is in progress.