Platinum Group Metals Ltd. has reported that the High Court of South Africa delivered a judgment on 14 June dismissing a challenge brought by Africa Wide Mineral Prospecting and Exploration (Pty) Limited (Africa Wide), a wholly owned subsidiary of Wesizwe Platinum Limited, to the 2018 sale of the Maseve Mine.
The High Court dismissed all of the claims for which Africa Wide contended and ordered the company to make payment of the defendants’ costs.
On November 23, 2017, definitive agreements were concluded to dispose of the shared interests in Maseve Investments 11 (Pty) Ltd. (Maseve) to Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited (RBPlat) in a transaction valued at approximately USD74-million (the Maseve Transaction).
The Maseve Transaction occurred as a scheme of arrangement (the Scheme) by way of two interdependent stages in accordance with section 115 of the South Africa Companies Act. Under the Scheme, Africa Wide was required to simultaneously dispose of its 17.1% interest together with the company’s 82.9% interest in Maseve.
Stage one, being the sale of certain of Maseve’s assets for approximately USD58-million in cash, was completed on April 5, 2018. Stage two, being the sale of 100% of Maseve’s issued shares to RBPlat in exchange for RBPlat common shares, was completed on April 26, 2018.
Notwithstanding that the statutory period to challenge the Scheme under the Companies Act had expired more than five months earlier, in September 2018 Africa Wide instituted legal proceedings against the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Platinum Group Metals (RSA) (Pty) Limited, RBPlat and Maseve, seeking to set aside the Maseve Transaction on the basis, among others, that stage one of the Scheme was completed without the consent of Africa Wide.
In its ruling, the High Court found that Africa Wide had firstly failed to make its case on the evidence and secondly that, having failed to challenge the Scheme under the Companies Act, Africa Wide’s case was statutorily barred.
Platinum Group’s CEO, Frank Hallam, said, “We are very satisfied to receive the judgment of the High Court in this matter. This is the second formal dispute we have been subjected to by Africa Wide, and we are once again comforted by the fair, methodical and just functioning of the South African judicial system. We thank our legal team and our co-defendants in this matter for their dedicated and professional actions. We look forward to continuing our focus on the advancement of the Waterberg Project.”
Africa Wide may apply for leave to appeal the June 14, 2022 judgment of the High Court until July 6, 2022.