New deal to develop West African iron ore project
Ferrex plc, the AIM quoted iron ore and manganese development company, has announced a major deal with Anglo American and its subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore, to develop its Mebaga iron ore project in Gabon, West Africa, for up to two years.
The three parties have signed a binding term sheet for exploration funding which also includes provision to refund Ferrex the US$1 million it has spent to date on exploration costs and in return Anglo American and Kumba, who will operate as a 50:50 joint venture, will receive the option to acquire 100 percent of the project.
In summary, the Term Sheet outlines a transaction whereby Anglo American and Kumba fund the exploration of Mebaga and surrounding areas over a period of up to two years and includes a provision to refund Ferrex for the majority of the exploration spend to date.
The term sheet also allows Anglo American and Kumba to move to 100 percent ownership of the Project at its election via a purchase arrangement or alternatively for Ferrex to maintain 100 percent ownership of Mebaga if Anglo American and Kumba do not elect to purchase the project.
Exploration will be managed by Anglo American and Kumba; however will utilise the existing in-country exploration team of Ferrex.
The Agreement is subject to final due diligence, completion of a detailed legal agreement, the approval of all parties’ boards and the approval of the Gabonese government.
Further details on the investment by Anglo American and Kumba will be provided when these requirements have been successfully met, and the market will be informed of these developments in due course.
Ferrex’s Managing Director Dave Reeves said: “This represents a significant milestone for Ferrex. To have secured the interest of a major mining house such as Anglo American and the operational experience of Kumba Iron Ore, reinforces our confidence in Mebaga as a leading DSO iron ore project in West Africa, and of Gabon as a desirable mining investment destination.
“We believe Mebaga has significant value uplift potential, highlighted by the Exploration Target of 90 to 150Mt @ 35 to 65 percent Fe and 550Mt to 900Mt @ 25 percent to 40 percent Fe defined over an 8km strike length of a total 19km strike identified at the Project.
“With Anglo American managing the project utilising our highly-experienced in-country team, Mebaga will benefit from leading technical expertise while maximising the exploration work undertaken, providing Ferrex with access to substantial value accretion whilst minimising exposure to exploration expenditure.
“ Due diligence is targeted for completion in February 2014 and at this point the full commercial terms of the agreement will be announced to the market."
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.