Monday, April 30, 2012

Lessons from Base Resources Ltd's Kwale Mining project

On Saturday i attended a Mind speak discussion organised by Rich Management. The guest speaker was Tim Carstens the Managing Director of Base Resources Limited. Base Resources is an Australian mining company listed on the Austlian stock exchange. Its market capitalisation is 244 Million Dollars. The company is currently engaged in Mineral Sand mining at Kwale. The company estimates that there are 1.4 billion tonnes of mineral sand deposits. Exploration will take about thirteen (13) years and it estimates that the project will earn the company about 1 billion dollars.

Most interesting to me was the process of convincing strategic investors to fund the project. Mining being a capital intensive business, the company first set out to convince local fund managers. Interestingly, local investors were not willing to invest in mining. It remained a foreign trade to them. Talk of missed opportunities. The project is therefore funded by foreign investors including banks that gave credit facilities.

The second most fascinating thing was on the project's community approach. Recalling that last week i shared my brief thoughts on Responsible Business, the company gave me new insights on, community mutual-benefit and partnership. Tim was very candid that without the support of the local community mining projects can be disastrous. The company has incorporated various community aspects to the project including having a data base for all skilled and semi-skilled workers from the neighbouring community.

Tim also shared that the by-products of the mining process especially clay can be used by entrepreneurs in income-generating ventures (better than making traditional pots). The company's investment in infrastructure will also go along way to benefit the community both during and after the project. The company's balance between business interests and community interests in commendable.

I hope to visit Kwale to experience the progress being made in the mining sector and hope to have a few investors on my train.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Panel discussion on Corporate Governance

I enjoyed this discussion on corporate governance. Have a look at it.

But i cant help think of how such information can reach young people in my home village on the slopes on Mt. Kenya. Anyway please follow the link.

Responsible Business

I came across a lecture, that provoked my thought on responsible business.

So when can we say that a company is carrying out responsible business. Well there are two perspectives to look at it. One is that the company's activities are ethical and contribute to social well being. But we all know that all companies cannot plant trees and take care of the environment. The second is that the company has some corporate social responsibility activities, build a school, plant trees, dig a bore hole and the list is endless. But we also know that these projects may not have the long term impact required as compared to the main business of the company.

I think that the only way to be a responsible business is to balance the various competing interests. Carry out CSR but balance it with business activities that promote the well being of people, whether directly or indirectly.

Here is the link to the lecture by Lynn A. Stout on Corporate Governance- What do shareholders really value?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Protecting Minority shareholders

I believe that although the majority shareholders have their way, we should also listen to minority shareholders. The balance between the interests of the two classes of investors is key to having a healthy company. Enjoy reading a related article in today's business daily through the link below.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Responsible exploration and development

As we explore oil, invest and develop, which i totaly support, lets also mitigate the effect of such exploration on future generations. This applies more particularly as regards to the environment. In the case of Turkana, let us develop and at the same time envision Turkana in 100 years and maintain a balance between rights and obligations.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Best strategy to resolve commercial disputes

I came across this quote that afformed my belief that we should as much as possible, avoid draging commercial disputes to coourt:

"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbour to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man" Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

Alternative resolution of disputes depends on the good will of the parties. Advocates should also help parties resolve the dispute. At the end of the day, it pays to resolve a dispute amicably rather than taking the judicial process. This process will be faster and more efficient. In addittion business and investments will not be adversely affected by court disputes.

So lets agree and move on with business, shall we.

The blog is back!

I last posted on this blog in September last year. I have been keenly researching within and without on the true purpose of this blog. I wanted to do something from deep within, something that i am passionate about as a person and an advocate. I wanted to contribute towards change in a different way.

Well soul searching is over folks. Today i received news about an investment i had made that affirmed my decision. I am now very keen to share information, ideas, news, views, experiences and insights on the rights of Corporations.

Briefly, if a corporation is a separate person in law, does it have rights? What about responsibilities? It is obvious that we cannot do without investments, in the very least that is how we create jobs for our skilled and unskilled workforce.

But how do the rights of corporations and the right to development and enjoyment of resources balance with the rights and responsibilities of human beings? Thats my purpose, thats my passion. Lets keep the discussion going.