WITH the proposed $225m sale of Eastplats South African assets to Hebei Zhongbo on hold because of a shareholder bust-up at the Chinese firm, Rozier is probably suffering from serious sense-of-humour failure. But there’s a movie parallel we just have to point out. It’s from “Godfather Three” when Al Pacino – in a scene reprised on the subsequent Sopranos TV series – declares vehemently that “... just when I thought I was out, they drag me back in”. In hindsight, Rozier has coped the best out of the entire South African platinum sector in dealing with the current severe downturn. He moved swiftly to shut down operations in 2012 in order to preserve Eastplats’ remaining cash reserves and then, in November 2014, he managed to find a buyer for the mothballed assets - the Crocodile River mine along with the Spitzkop, Kennedy’s Vale and Mareesburg projects - in the form of Hebei Zhongbo. Happy days, as they say, but then it all went pear-shaped before Rozier could take the money. In October, it emerged there was an internal bust-up at Hebei Zhongbo and a company called Beijing Hehe issued a statement that the transaction would not proceed. A confusing few weeks followed until Rozier confirmed in mid-November that Eastplats had clarified the situation and the deal would not go ahead until the shareholders of Hebei Zhongbo managed to resolve their differences. Looks like the Chinese version of a Mafia “sit down” is required.
LIFE OF IAN
He’s a geologist by profession with more than 25 years experience in the mining industry. He was formerly with Gold Fields of SA and was also a partner in Golder Associates. He worked for – or consulted to – several major mining groups until 1987 when he formed his own consulting firm, Canex International Consultants.
- Web Address: www.eastplats.com