Asia Energy PLC
21 December 2006
21 December 2006
Asia Energy plc acquires 15% of current share capital of GVM Metals Limited
For immediate release: Asia Energy Plc ('Asia Energy' or 'the Company') (AIM:
AEN) announces it has acquired 12,200,000 new ordinary shares in GVM Metals
Limited ('GVM'), a South African mineral processing and coal mining company, by
way of a subscription at 20 pence per share, for a total cost of £2,440,000. The
Board of GVM has invited Steve Bywater to become Non-Executive Deputy Chairman
and Graham Taggart to be a Non-Executive Director. Following the subscription,
Asia Energy will own 13% of the enlarged share capital of GVM.
The investment provides the Company with a meaningful stake in the South African
coal sector and the opportunity to assist development of an underground coal
mine (Holfontein project) and two open-cut coal mines (Limpopo and Baobab
projects) in South Africa. The Holfontein project is located in the Witbank coal
fields and the Baobab and Limpopo projects are located in the Limpopo province.
Based on previous work undertaken by Utah Mining, Kumba and others the total
coal resources controlled by GVM are considered to approach 2 billion tonnes.
GVM's primary listing is on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) with secondary
listings on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and the Johannesburg
Stock Exchange (JSE).
As a result of two recently announced transactions, GVM will hold on
satisfaction of all conditions precedent a 100% interest in both the Baobab and
Holfontein coal projects.
On 22 August 2006, GVM announced the acquisition from Motjoli Resources
(Proprietary) Limited ('Motjoli') of its 51% shareholding in the Holfontein
Project, its 50% interest in the Baobab Project, and its 100% interest in three
prospecting licences adjacent to the Baobab properties.
Yesterday GVM announced it had reached agreement with Petmin Limited ('Petmin')
for GVM to acquire Petmin's effective 50% interest in Baobab for GBP 2.5
GVM plans to bring the Holfontein mine into production in the first half of
2008. A bankable feasibility study on the Limpopo and Baobab Projects is
expected to be completed by December 2007 with coal production expected in the
first half of 2009. All GVM's mining and prospecting interests are held as New
As a result of the Motjoli transaction GVM will qualify as black empowered under
the relevant South African legislation.
GVM also holds 100% of NiMag (Proprietary) Limited ('Nimag'), an alloy and fibre
manufacturer based in Magaliesburg near Johannesburg in South Africa. Nimag
supplies approximately 40% of world demand for nickel magnesium ferro-alloys.
Further details of the above transactions and description of the assets are
available on GVM's website (www.gvm.com.au).
Steve Bywater Chief Executive of the Company said: 'This is an exciting
opportunity for Asia Energy as it looks to expand its portfolio of investments
in coal on a global basis. This transaction provides a platform for the Company
to be involved in new and developing coal projects with GVM, who have a strong
management team. The Company remains, however, fully committed to its Phulbari
Coal Project in Bangladesh and we will update the market on its status as soon
as we are able.'
Simon Farrell, Managing director of GVM said: 'We are delighted to work with
Asia Energy bringing our diverse coal interests into production. Steve Bywater
brings enormous experience in operating world class coal and iron ore mines and
I look forward to his help in what is going to be a very exciting and
challenging period of the company's growth'.
For Further Information:
Steve Bywater Cathy Malins or Annabel Leather
Chief Executive Parkgreen Communications
Ph: +44 (0)207 290 1630 Ph: +44 (0)207 851 7480
Ph: +44 (0)207 290 1630
Notes to editors:
Asia Energy plc is a London based company quoted on the London Stock Exchange's
Alternative Investment Market (AIM). The Company's primary activity is the
development of the Phulbari Coal Project in Northwest Bangladesh into a world
class open pit mine, adhering to the highest national and international
environmental and social standards. The mine will have a life of more than 30
years and at full capacity will produce 15 million tonnes a year of mostly
export quality metallurgical and thermal coal. Its objective is to start mining
activity upon Government of Bangladesh approval following the Government
election in January 2007.
For further information on the Company: www.asia-energy.com
GVM Metals Limited listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in April 1980 and was
primarily focused on minerals exploration in Western Australia and Indonesia.
Through a series of strategic investments, GVM moved its focus to a metals
processing and coal processing company predominantly targeting South Africa. The
company successfully listed on Aim in 2005 and also on the Johannesburg Stock
Exchange in November 2006.
For further information on the Company: www.gvm.com.au
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange D