WE told you so. Last year, we tagged Nelson with a ‘watch this space’ comment reporting that the seriously laid-back executive - who seemed to be doing more surfing than actual work - had been “spotted in the company of Cape Town-based financiers while not wearing baggies.” So we were not surprised when Xtract revealed in March it was working on a project to recover copper from old tailings dams at the former Carolusberg and O’Okiep Copper mines in the Northern Cape. But we were surprised when Nelson followed that up in June with the deal to acquire the Fair Bride (Manica) gold project in Mozambique. Manica was previously owned by Pan African, but was spun out in 2011 - on Nelson’s watch - because the company’s major shareholders wanted him to focus on developing Pan African’s South African projects. In June, Nelson described Manica as “a company maker for Xtract”, but he was working on an assumed gold price of $1,250/oz compared with the level of $1,050/oz to $1,100/oz currently. Nelson is rolling with the punches. The Manica acquisition agreement was revised in Xtract’s favour in September and a separate new joint venture to mine alluvial gold at Manica was revealed in October.
LIFE OF JAN
Nelson is a geologist by training who worked for Harmony, then shifted to Rob Still’s Pangea outfit. But he made his name and reputation running Pan African Resources. When he took it over it was an exploration junior “wild-catting” - ultimately unsuccessfully – for a major gold strike in the Central African Republic. Under his control Pan African became a highly successful junior based on its operations acquired at Barberton and then Evander.
- Web Address: www.xtractresources.com