By Staff Reporter
On the back of the recently concluded Economic Growth Summit held in Windhoek where foreign investors were encouraged to invest in Namibia, it may appear that investors are taken for a ride when dealing with local partners.
These are the claims of Dauremas Mineral Development Company, a Belgian owned company armed with seven EPL’s awarded in 2013. Jointly owned by Tia Mining and Engineering Supplies CC at 88% and Michal Ngajazikue Tjituka at 12%, the company has struggled to become operational as a result of alleged double dealing by minority shareholder Tjituka.
After drilling to determine the quality of the minerals with claims awarded on the areas identified as 70398, 70399, 703400, 703401, 703402, 703403, 703404 and 703405, the agreement fell apart resulting in Tjituka resigning as director amidst claims of mismanagement.
The Patriot has learnt that Tjituka operates two companies sometimes interchangeably identified as Froya and at times as Frovio Investment, a company named after her kids. According to DMD, Tjituka left with a company owned vehicle which is described as a Land Cruiser and several company computers.
Tjituka resigned from DMD on 8 September 2016, a fact she confirms during her interview with The Patriot but claims to have merely resigned as a director and not a minority shareholder.
This fact notwithstanding, Tjituka proceeds to portray herself as a 100% shareholder of EPL 198 and offered the claims to Montero, a Canadian company.
After applying for an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) on behalf of Montero, Tjituka takes a 20% stake in Montero.
The Ministry of Mines of Energy, through the office of the Mining Commissioner Erasmus Shivolo however, granted Montero the rights to mine in Namibia, based on those very same EPL numbers.
“On October 10, 2017 Montero entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Frovio Investment and Mickal Tjituka, the owner of Frovio, to acquire up to an 80% interest in a newly formed company ‘Newco’, that will hold the mining claims that make up the Soris Lithium Project,” says an analysis on their management’s discussions, published by Montero for the year ended 31 December, 2017.
“Frovio has applied for eight mining claims making up the Project and will transfer them into Newco in exchange for a 20% interest.
Montero will earn the remainder 80% interest by committing to spending $1 million on the Project over a three year period. The LOI indicated a three month due diligence period and Montero requested an extension until November 10, 2018, which has been granted,” the analysis reads in part.
Tjituka speaks – “ I am still a shareholder”
“I am still a shareholder. How can I be misappropriating company properties when I have shares in the company?
I resigned from the operations of the company because there was no communication between myself and the company when I went on maternity leave and the relationship died,” Tjituka says.
Upon her return from giving birth, she found that they had filled her position without informing her.
“If you go to the records of the ministry, you will see that I am still a shareholder, the only Namibian partner and that is what Namibian law requires. Every foreigner who comes here must have a Namibian partner. So how am I misappropriating company funds when I am still a shareholder? I can do what I want.”
“Me and Montero and DMD are now working together, we have struck a deal to work together, so I don’t understand why people are bringing this up.”
“The licences belongs to Namibia Tantalum Mining, a Russian company. In fact, before the Belgian owners of DMD approached me, they went to the EPL owners, Namibia Tantalum Mining (NTM) which is a Russian owned company.
NTM and DMD (trading under Ugab Mining at the time) signed a memorandum of understanding, which ceased when the relationship between the two entities broke down.”
Tjituka came to know what is now known as DMD when she was contracted as a mining consultant to lobby on their behalf with the ministry for them to approve the EPL’s of the Russians (NTM).” She had at the time already parted ways with NTM because her consultancy had come to an end.
“The Belgians were told to contact me about the progress on the EPL’s when they made an enquiry at the ministry. That is how our relationship began. They informed me that they did not want to continue with the agreement with the Russians and asked for my assistance to transfer the EPL’s into their own name. I was unable to do the transfer application since NTM had informed the ministry that the agreement with Ugab Mining had been cancelled and was no longer valid.”
The breakdown of the relationship between NTM and the then Ugab Mining culminated in a High Court case A310/2014 in which NTM was disputing the rights of the then newly-formed DMD to apply for mining claims which they owned, but had delayed to renew.
“I applied for them (the claims). The claims had EPLs overlapping with the Russians EPLs.
Usually with the ministry it is allowed; if you apply for an EPL in the same area but for a different mineral, it can be approved, it happens.”
Being the face of DMD as their Namibian partner, Tjituka says she was at the forefront of the court battle.
“I was doing everything and we eventually won the court case in 2016.
The whole time there were disagreements between the Russians and the Belgians and I was blamed by one side (NTM) for taking their investor from them. I never took anybody’s investor, these people came to me,” she says.
“The agreement signed between myself and DMD lapsed in 2017 and was never renewed. I tried to contact my partners on many occasions to no avail, so when I was approached by a new investor (Montero), I went for it.”
“After all the commotion and with nothing happening, I thought that I should unite the people and we continue. I have the claims, they have the environmental clearance, at DMD we applied for a mining license and nothing is moving forward, while there is a lot of potential. ”
The two entities agreed to work together says Tjituka. They are waiting on the transfer of the license to DMD by the Ministry of environment, which will be followed by the signing of agreements between all entities involved.
“Once we have signed the agreement we can go to Ministry of Mines and Energy that we agreed to work together (sic) and that we will also change the shareholding of DMD, probably as a joint venture.”
DMD is interested in tantalum and tin mining, while Montero is interested in lithium mining. Since they have different interests in terms of their mining purpose, they are able to share a mining license, Tjituka opines.
“I never went behind anybody’s back,” she concluded.