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Kameni accused of making false claims to raise capital

Niren Tolsi

Kameni and Kameni Investments were founded by businessperson Loucas Pouroulis and registered in 2006.

Loucas Pouroulis. (Gallo Images)

Pourolis made a killing when, in 2005, he acquired Impala Platinum subsidiary Elandsfontein Platinum Project for R117.5-million (about $15-million) and then sold it two years later for $1.1-billion to Xstrata.

According to MoneyWeb, the deal was financed "99% by third-party seed capital". Pouroulis pocketed R819-million in pretax profit and Barend Meulenbeld, the current Kameni chief executive officer, took home R141-million. According to the Zimbabwe International Herald, Kameni was reported to the South African Police Service's commercial crimes unit in 2011 for "false claims" in trying to raise seed capital for its projects in Kalkfontein and at Bougai in Zimbabwe.

Also in 2011, MoneyWeb reported that Todal, a Zimbabwean subsidiary of London Stock Exchange-listed ENRC and partially owned by the Zimbabwe Mineral Development Corporation, had lodged a complaint over the alleged misrepresentation in trying to raise seed capital for the Bougai project, for which it claimed to hold the rights.

In March 2009, Kameni announced that it had raised R300-million from investors. This was followed by Todal applying for a court injunction against Mid-Ma, the Kameni subsidiary in Zimbabwe.

Allegations
According to MoneyWeb, Mid-Ma geologists were arrested at Bougai in April 2009 following these allegations.

Kameni still advertises Bougai as one of its operations on its website.

In 2008, Impala Platinum chief executive David Brown said Kameni had been "too liberal" when referring to their partnership at Kalkfontein and that the miner had to complete a bankable feasibility study on the operation and raise complete funding for the building of the mine before it would transfer its rights in the project to Kameni for a 20% stake in it.

Commenting on the Bougai matter, Kameni chief executive Barend Meulenbeld said: "Kameni, through its subsidiary Mid-Ma Platinum, was in 2008 granted a number of claims in the Bougai-Kironde area of the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe. It was subsequently found that an overlap existed between certain of the claims granted to Mid-Ma with certain claims [having been] granted to Todal Mining, at which point exploration activities were suspended. The Zimbabwean authorities have yet to resolve this issue."

On the complaint lodged with the police's commercial crimes unit, he said Kameni had fully addressed all queries and no steps had been taken subsequently.


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