The first group company, Platexco, returned an IRR of 119%: with $13m invested, the company was sold for $191m over a period of less then 3 years. The project is located in the Bushveld Igneous Complex in South Africa. Platexco completed extensive magnetic and radiometric surveys, as well as a 62-borehole diamond drilling program that intersected reefs located on the Winnaarshoek Platinum Project at depths varying from 50 meters to 800 meters. The program confirmed an 80.7-million tonne resource at 6.65 3-PGE + Au g/t and a 62.5-million tonne reserve at 5.54 3-PGE + Au g/t. A pre-feasibility study was completed in 1999, which indicated the Winnaarshoek Platinum Project would support the development of a platinum mine. Today, the project produces 250,000 oz of PGEs per annum and is called Marula Platinum. back
Tau's group company AfriOre Limited raised $55m in capital and returned $498m, for an annual IRR of 43%. From 1999 to 2004, AfriOre bought, profitably operated, and sold Springlake Colliery in Natal, South Africa, which produced some 600,000 annual sales tonnes of coal until its eventual sale to New Africa Mining Fund in 2004 for $11 million. Thereafter, AfriOre acquired Akanani, an early-stage exploration project in the Bushveld Igneous Complex in South Africa. Between 2004 and 2006, AfriOre's highly skilled and expert technical team conducted a world-class exploration program to complete the drilling of approximately 60 boreholes, with some in excess of 2000m. The 33 million ounce deposit of PGMs located between 800 metres and 2,000 metres represented one of the largest exploration programs at the time in that region. While proceeding with a pre-feasibility study, the company was sold for $496-million in January 2007 to Lonmin PLC.
Rio Verde Minerals
Rio Verde Minerals was created in 2011 after Tau's group company Talon Metals, sold its potash assets in Brazil to Rio Verde in return for shares. These shares were ultimately distributed to Talon shareholders. Prior to the sale to Rio Verde, Talon had invested $1.8m in the project, and in November 2012, Rio Verde was sold for $50m, with Talon shareholders' portion being $10.2m, rendering an annualized IRR of 198%. Talon interpreted 234 line km of historical seismic surveys and evaluated 286 historical oil and gas wells across 7 target areas, which independent potash consultants Ercosplan used to define 450mt of sylvinite ore and 1.1BT of carnalite ore.
Tau's group company CIC Energy was created in 2005 with the vision of building a mine-mouth coal-fired power station in Botswana. CIC Energy proved up 2.6BT of coal and:
- Negotiated and completed a lump sum, turnkey Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract for a 1,320 megawatt power plant, to the value of C$1.95-billion, with Shanghai Electric Corporation;
Concluded an agreement to partner with the largest independent power producer in the United Kingdom, International Power Plc;
Obtained second round credit committee approval for a C$4.8-billion project financing arrangement for the mine, power plant and infrastructure; and
- Extensively negotiated a Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom Holdings Limited (South Africa's only power utility) and Botswana Power Corporation (Botswana's national utility).
Unfortunately, in mid-2009 CIC Energy was dealt a major blow when South Africa's only power utility, Eskom, announced that it did not have the funds to continue as a going concern and consequently, could not enter into any material contracts going forward, including the contemplated Power Purchase Agreement with CIC Energy. Eskom required a government 'bail-out'. Ultimately, the CIC team recovered from this set-back, as it successfully sold the company to Jindal Steel & Power in 2012 for C$116-million.back