Rubis requires the compulsory transfer from the Bumi Resources Group of its joint venture interest in Mauritania, following the French Court determination of the illegal diversion of its jointly held assets
PARIS, France, March 25, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Rubis International Limited ("Rubis"), a British company owned by the Abeidna Group, and Bumi Resources Group, which is 29.2% owned by Bumi plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, have been joint owners since 2007 of the French company Bumi Holding SAS (“the joint venture”) which is involved in mineral exploration and exploitation in Mauritania. The Bumi Resources Group, which includes PT Bumi Resources Mineral Tbk, listed on the Jakarta exchange, owns 60% of the interest in the joint venture, and Rubis owns the remaining 40%.
In 2011, a commercially exploitable iron ore deposit was discovered at the Otoy site in the Tamagot area. An exploitation permit, which currently constitutes the main asset of the joint venture, was issued in November 2011 by the Mauritanian authorities.
According to public statements made by the Bumi Resources Group, without consultation with or the involvement of Rubis, the deposit was estimated to produce at least 600 thousand tons of iron ore in 2012, rising to in excess of 1 million tons of iron ore per year in 2014, and the reserves represented approximately 100 million tons of iron, with production expected to start within the first half of 2012. No reference was made in such statement to Rubis or its interest in such deposits.
Rubis has accused the Bumi Resources Group of having misused the permit in breach of the terms of the joint venture agreement, to the benefit of Tamagot Bumi SA, a Bumi Resources Group subsidiary, thus depriving Rubis of the benefit of its 40% interest in the exploitation permit.
Rubis commenced proceedings in the French courts in January 2012. The President of the Commercial Court of Paris (the Tribunal de Commerce de Paris), by interim order dated 10 February 2012, considered such diversion of its assets to be illegal and needing to be remedied. The Court appointed an ad hoc agent (mandataire ad hoc) to convene a meeting of the management committee of the joint venture and also required disclosure of certain documentation relating to the project.
On 24 and 28 January 2012, the Bumi Resources Group offered to transfer to Rubis its 60% share in the joint venture in consideration for USD 1. While Rubis wishes to acquire the remaining interest in the joint venture, given the prior conduct of the Bumi Resources Group, Rubis now intends to acquire such interest through the exercise of its rights under the joint venture agreement and it has today issued a notice requiring the compulsory transfer to it of Bumi Resources Group's share in the joint venture.
The Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Bumi Plc, himself a former president of the joint venture and current member of its management committee, has been fully involved in the Mauritanian project and has been informed on a regular basis of the allegations against the Bumi Resources Group.
Distributed by the African Press Organization for Rubis International Limited.
Rubis International Limited:
Brian Bofkin - London (Board member of Bumi holding SAS)
Mohamed Yehdhih Ould Moctar – Mauritania
Hugues Le Bret
Bureau : + 33 1 80 40 02 09
Bureau : +33 1 41 34 20 29
Mobile : +33 6 75 22 08 53
Bureau : +33 1 41 34 65 90