Corporate Governance

This page was last reviewed and updated on: 22 October 2020


The QCA Code sets out 10 principles that should be applied.  These are listed below together with a short explanation of how the Company applies each of the principles:



Principle One
Business Model and Strategy


The Board has concluded that the highest medium and long-term value can be delivered to its shareholders by the adoption of a single strategy for the Company. The Company is developing its portfolio of resource companies in South Africa, Zambia and USA. The Company continues to hold significant stakes in these projects and companies and remains actively involved with their development. The Company will continue to seek to grow the businesses organically and will seek out further complementary acquisitions that create enhanced value.



Principle Two
Understanding Shareholder Needs and Expectations


The Board is committed to maintaining good communication and having constructive dialogue with its shareholders. The Company keeps its private shareholders and institutional investors informed with regular RNS statements and its executive directors meet with shareholders during the year with opportunities to discuss issues and provide feedback. In addition, all shareholders are encouraged to attend the Company’s Annual General Meeting. Investors also have access to current information on the Company through its website, and via Colin Bird, Chairman/CEO who is available to answer investor relations enquiries.



Principle Three
Considering wider stakeholder and social responsibilities


The Board recognises that the long term success of the Company is reliant upon the efforts of the employees of the Company and its contractors, suppliers, regulators and other stakeholders. The Board has put in place a range of processes and systems to ensure that there is close oversight and contact with its key resources and relationships. There is an open and confidential dialogue with each person in the help ensure successful two-way communication with agreement on goals, targets and aspirations of the employee and the Company. This feedback process helps to ensure the Company can respond to new issues and opportunities that arise to further the success of employees and the Company. The Company has on-going relationships with a broad range of its stakeholders and provides them with the opportunity to raise issues and provide feedback to the Company.



Principle Four
Risk Management


In addition to its other roles and responsibilities, the Audit and Compliance Committee is responsible to the Board for ensuring that procedures are in place and are being implemented effectively to identify, evaluate and manage the significant risks faced by the Company. The risk assessment matrix below sets out those risks, and identifies their ownership and the controls that are in place. This matrix is updated as changes arise in the nature of risks or the controls that are implemented to mitigate them. The Audit and Compliance Committee reviews the risk matrix and the effectiveness of scenario testing on a regular basis. The following principal risks and controls to mitigate them, have been identified:

The Directors have established procedures, as represented by this statement, for the purpose of providing a system of internal control. An internal audit function is not considered necessary or practical due to the size of the Company and the close day to day control exercised by the executive directors. However, the Board will continue to monitor the need for an internal audit function. The Board works closely with and has regular ongoing dialogue with the Company’s financial manager, Ms C de Beer and has established appropriate reporting and control mechanisms to ensure the effectiveness of its control systems.



Principle Five
A Well Functioning Board of Directors


As at the date hereof the Board comprises, the Chairman and CEO Colin Bird, Technical Director Edward (Ed) Slowey, Finance Director Joel Silberstein, and two non-Executive Directors, Christopher Molefe and Richard Wollenberg of whom the latter is independent. The Company’s portfolio of natural resource projects is not extensive. The present scale of corporate activity in this regard would not justify the separation of the roles of chairman and CEO and the Company considers its two non-executive directors are sufficient for its current range of activities. However, the Company reviews its governance policy annually having due regard to the intent of Principle 5 and the Company’s development. Biographical details of the current Directors are set out on within Principle Six below. Executive and non-executive directors are subject to re-election at intervals of no more than three years. The letters of appointment of all Directors are available for inspection at the Company’s registered office during normal business hours.  All the Non-Executive Directors are considered to be part time but are expected to provide as much time to the Company as is required.  The Board elects a Chairman to chair every meeting: normally this would be Colin Bird.


The Board endeavours to meet on a monthly basis. It has established an Audit and Compliance Committee and a Remuneration Committee, particulars of which appear hereafter. The Board has agreed that appointments to the Board are made by the Board as a whole and so has not created a Nominations Committee. The non-executive Directors are considered to be part time but are expected to provide as much time to the Company as is required. The Board considers that this is appropriate given the Company’s current stage of operations. It shall continue to monitor the need to match resources to its operational performance and costs and the matter will be kept under review going forward.  The Board notes that the QCA recommends a balance between executive and non-executive Directors and recommends that there should be two independent non-executives. As noted above the Board will review annually further appointments as the Company’s scale and operational complexity grows.


Attendance at Board and Committee Meetings

The Company reports annually on the number of Board and committee meetings held during the year and the attendance record of individual Directors. To date in the current financial year the Directors have a near 100% record of attendance at such meetings. The Directors meet formally and informally both in person and by telephone.



Principle Six
Appropriate Skills and Experience of the Directors

The Board currently consists of four directors. In addition, the Company has employed the outsourced services of Link Company Matters Limited to act as the Company Secretary.


The Company believes that the current balance of skills in the Board as a whole reflects a very broad range of commercial and professional skills across geographies and industries and each director has experience in public markets.


The Board recognises that it currently has a limited diversity and this will form a part of any future recruitment consideration, if the Board concludes that replacement or additional directors are required.


The Board shall review annually the appropriateness and opportunity for continuing professional development whether formal or informal.


Colin Bird
Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Colin Bird has a Diploma in Mining Engineering, is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and is a certified mine manager both in the UK and in the United States of America. The formative part of his career was spent with the National Coal Board in the UK and thereafter he moved to the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines and then to South Africa to work in a management position with Anglo American Coal. On his return to the UK he was Technical and Operations Director of Costain Mining Limited, which involved responsibility for gold mining operations in Argentina, Venezuela and Spain.


In addition to his coal mining activities he has been involved in the management of mining nickel, copper, gold and other diverse mineral operations. He has founded and floated several public companies in the resource sector and served on resource company boards in the UK, Canada and South Africa. Notably he was on the board of Kiwara Plc which was successfully sold to First Quantum Plc in February 2010. In addition, he currently serves as Chairman (non-executive) of Jubilee Metals Group Plc, – an AIM listed platinum exploration company with operations in South Africa and Zambia – and of other several publicly quoted resource companies.


Edward (Ed) Slowey
Technical Director
B.Sc. Geology, National University of Ireland, PGeo, EurGeol

Ed holds a BSc degree in Geology from the National University of Ireland and is a founder member of The Institute of Geology of Ireland. He has more than 40 years’ experience in mineral exploration, mining and project management.


He worked as a mine geologist at Europe’s largest zinc mine in Navan, Ireland and was exploration manager for Rio Tinto in Ireland for more than a decade, which led to the discovery of the Cavanacaw gold deposit.


He has also operated as an exploration geologist and consultant in many parts of the world, including Africa, Europe, America and the FSU. This work included joint venture negotiation, exploration programme planning and management through to feasibility study implementation for a variety of commodities. As a professional consultant, work has included completion of CPR’s and 43-101 technical reports for international stock exchange listings and fundraising, while also undertaking assignments for the World Bank and European Union bodies.


In addition, Ed served as director of several private and public companies, including the role of CEO and Technical Director at AIM-listed Orogen Gold Plc which discovered the Mutsk gold deposit in Armenia.


J Richard Wollenberg
Non-Executive Director

Richard Wollenberg, was, between 1981 and 1996, an investment consultant with Brown Shipley Stockbroking Limited and has over the past 25 years, been actively involved in a number of corporate acquisitions, mergers and capital re-organisations of public and private companies.


Mr Wollenberg is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Cardiff Property Plc, a quoted property investment and development company and is a non-executive director of Aquila Services Group Plc.


He was also a non-executive director of Kiwara Plc alongside Colin Bird.


Christopher (Chris) Molefe
Non-Executive Director
 B.Com (Unin); Post graduate diploma (University of Cape Town)

Mr. Molefe was formerly the Chief Executive of Royal Bafokeng Resources (Pty) Limited and is presently the Non-Executive Chairman of Merafe Resources Limited, a publicly listed company on the JSE Securities Exchange, a non-executive Director of Capital Oil (Pty) Ltd and Jubilee Metals Group Plc.


Mr. Molefe has held several positions in corporate banking and industry for the previous 20 years.


He commenced his career as Group Human Resource Manger at Union Carbide Africa Corporation. His subsequent positions include being the Manager of Corporate Affairs at Mobil Oil Southern Africa (Pty) Limited; an Executive Director at Black Management Forum; a Financial Analyst at Chase Manhattan Bank; the Marketing Manager at African Bank Limited; an Executive Manager at Transnet (Propnet) (Pty) Limited; and an Executive Director at Dipapatso Media (Pty).


Joel Silberstein
Finance Director

Joel holds an Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science degree from the University of South Africa.


He qualified as a chartered accountant with Mazars, Cape Town in 2002, and subsequently joined Toronto-quoted European Goldfields Limited. There he held the position of Group Financial Controller and Vice President Finance, supporting the executive team in growing the company through its exploration and development phases, until it was bought by Eldorado Gold in a C$2.5bn deal.


He joined AIM-traded Xtract Resources plc in mid 2013 and was appointed finance director in February 2014. He has subsequently assisted in several corporate transactions, including those surrounding the Manica gold mining operations, and he has experience of working in multiple jurisdictions around the world.


He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of South Africa as well a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.



Principle Seven
Evaluation of Board Performance


Internal evaluation of the Board, the Committee and individual Directors is to be undertaken on an annual basis in the form of peer appraisal and discussions to determine the effectiveness and performance in various as well as the Directors’ continued independence.


The results and recommendations resulting from the appraisals for the directors shall identify the key corporate and financial targets that are relevant to each Director and their personal targets in terms of career development and training. Progress against previous targets shall also be assessed where relevant.



Principle Eight
Corporate Culture


The Board recognises that their decisions regarding strategy and risk will impact the corporate culture of the Company as a whole and that this will impact the performance of the Company. The Board is aware that the tone and culture set by the Board will greatly impact all aspects of the Company as a whole and the way that employees behave. The corporate governance arrangements that the Board has adopted are designed to ensure that the Company delivers long-term value to its shareholders and that shareholders have the opportunity to express their views and expectations for the Company in a manner that encourages open dialogue with the Board. The Board is very aware that the tone and culture set by the Board will greatly impact all aspects of the Company as a whole and the way that employees behave. A large part of the Company’s activities is centred upon what needs to be an open and respectful dialogue with employees, clients and other stakeholders. Therefore, the importance of sound ethical values and behaviours is crucial to the ability of the Company successfully to achieve its corporate objectives. The Board places great import on this aspect of corporate life and seeks to ensure that this flows through all that the Company does.  The directors consider that at present the Company has an open culture facilitating comprehensive dialogue and feedback and enabling positive and constructive challenge. The Company has adopted, with effect from the date on which its shares were admitted to AIM, a code for Directors’ and employees’ dealings in securities which is appropriate for a company whose securities are traded on AIM and is in accordance with the requirements of the Market Abuse Regulation which came into effect in 2016.



Principle Nine
Maintenance of Governance Structures and Processes


Ultimate authority for all aspects of the Company’s activities rests with the Board and the respective responsibilities of the chairman and chief executive officer (currently a combined role) arising as a consequence of delegation by the Board. The chairman is responsible for the effectiveness of the Board, while the Board has delegated management of the Company’s business and primary contact with shareholders to the executive officers of the Company.


Audit and Compliance Committee

The Audit and Compliance Committee is chaired by Christopher Molefe with Richard Wollenberg as the other member of the committee. This committee has responsibility for monitoring the quality of internal controls and ensuring that the financial performance of the Company is properly measured and reported. It receives reports from the executive management relating to the interim accounts and from the executive management and auditors relating to the annual accounts and the accounting and internal control systems in use throughout the Company. The Audit and Compliance Committee meets not less than twice in each financial year and it has unrestricted access to the Company’s auditors.


Remuneration Committee

The Remuneration Committee comprises Richard Wollenberg as chairman and Christopher Molefe as the other member of the committee. The Remuneration Committee reviews the performance of the executive directors and employees and makes recommendations to the Board on matters relating to their remuneration and terms of employment. The Remuneration Committee also considers and approves the granting of share options pursuant to the share option plan and the award of shares in lieu of bonuses pursuant to the Company’s Remuneration Policy.


At the Company’s AGM on 25 October 2021 Incentive Schemes were approved and adopted the principal terms of which were set out in the Appendix to the Notice of the AGM. Awards under the Incentive Schemes are not intended to replace the Company’s share option scheme and the Incentive Schemes, and shall continue in place until the Board of the Company have put an alternative incentive scheme to the Company’s shareholders which the Company’s shareholders have approved. Details of the Incentive Scheme are here.


Nominations Committee

The Board has agreed that appointments to the Board will be made by the Board as a whole and so has not created a Nominations Committee.


Non-Executive Directors

The Board has adopted guidelines for the appointment of non-Executive directors, which are in place and which are being observed. These provide for the orderly rotation and re-election of the directors in accordance with the articles of association of the Company.


In accordance with the Companies Act 2006, the Board complies with: a duty to act within their powers; a duty to promote the success of the Company; a duty to exercise independent judgement; a duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence; a duty to avoid conflicts of interest; a duty not to accept benefits from third parties and a duty to declare any interest in a proposed transaction or arrangement.



Principle Ten
Shareholder Communication


The Board is committed to maintaining good communication and having constructive dialogue with its shareholders. The Company keeps its private shareholders and institutional investors informed with regular RNS statements and its executive directors meet with shareholders during the year with opportunities to discuss issues and provide feedback. In addition, all shareholders are encouraged to attend the Company’s Annual General Meeting. Investors also have access to current information on the Company through its website, and via Colin Bird, Chairman/CEO who is available to answer investor relations enquiries.


The Company, when relevant, shall include in its annual report, any matters of note arising from the audit or remuneration committees.