Bushveld ups stake in Vametco to 75% as strike continues

Bushveld Minerals paid Sojitz Noble Alloys of Japan $20-million to purchase Sojitz’s 21.2% stake in Strategic Minerals Corp. (Stratcor). This transaction means that Bushveld now owns 100% of Stratcor, which, in turn, owns 75% of Vametco. Vametco consists of an open pit mine and vanadium processing plant in Brits, South Africa. Vametco produced 2,649 mt of FeV and Nitrovan in 2017 compared to 2,859 mt in 2016.

Vametco has been plagued with labor disputes this year. Workers Claiming they have not received a settlement payment agreed to in May, Vametco workers walked off the job on Sept. 5 and apparently still are on strike even though the South African Labor Authority has issued a return-to-work order.

Bushveld has said it plans to increase capacity at Vametco to 3,750 mtpy from 3,035 mtpy rated capacity. Bushveld made its first investment in Vametco in May 2017, paying Evraz $17-million for a 32.5% stake in the mine. Evraz operated the mine through Stratcor, which it had acquired earlier along with Highveld. In approving the purchase of Highveld in 2007, the European Commission required Evraz to divest several of its South African holdings.

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