The troubled Tolokuma mine in Central Province is to be bought by the LifeBrandz Group, a Singapore based nightclub and lifestyle company [see story below from the Asian business press]
The sale comes just eight months after the PNG government controversially sold the mine to an Asian securities and investment company owned by businessman Soh Sai Kiang, operating through a front company called Asidokona Mining Resources.
According to its website, LifeBrandz was established in 2001 and has been listed in Singapore since 2004. The company describes itself as “a brand development and management Group with interests in lifestyle-related and entertainment sectors”. The company says its core focus is “contributing to a vibrant nightlife and tourism experience in Singapore”.
The companies main assets are six Singapore nightclubs, bars and restaurants – Mulligans, Playhouse, Dream, Top Dog, Fetix Room and AquaNova.
When Tolokuma was sold by the government in November 2015, Mining Minister, Byron Chan bizarrely claimed that Asidokona was “reputable, committed, has integrity and capacity”, when it was obvious it was just a front company and Kiang was just looking to make a quick profit and had no intention of re-opening the mine. Chan has yet to give his opinion on LifeBrandz or its nightclubs.
The original sale of the mine was certainly was not popular with Central MPs or local politicians who claimed they and the Provincial Assembly had been kept out of government negotiations. It is unlikely this new transfer in ownership will be viewed any more positively.
The new sale will also not bring any relief to local people who live daily with the environmental impacts from the mine and the pollution of their rivers with heavy metals. They have been described as a ‘cursed generation’ and their plight as a genocide.
See related stories:
- Tolukuma mine purchased by Asian finance company with no mining experience
- Cursed Generation: People along Angabanga river doomed to chemical poisoning
- Tolukuma LOs threaten mine closure
- Mining Minister clueless on details of Tolokuma sale
- Mystery buyer for Tolukuma mine
Lifebrandz plans to acquire shares in Papua New Guinea gold mining company
Jamie Lee | The Business Times | July 12, 2016
LIFEBRANDZ on Tuesday said that it plans to acquire all the shares of Tolukuma Gold Mines, a company incorporated in Papua New Guinea that owns a non-operational gold mine there, for US$212 million. The purchase will be made by alloting new shares to the vendor.
Tolukuma also holds five exploration licences and has one exploration licence under application. The owner of Tolukuma is an investment holding company that is in turn wholly owned by Soh Sai Kiang, a co-founder of Catalist-listed Artivision Technologies. Mr Soh is also the director of capital markets (Singapore) at UOB Kay Hian, Lifebrandz said.
The company plans to raise up to US$20 million through convertible bonds, and grant a loan of up to US$17 million to Tolukuma for working capital purposes.
Lifebrandz separately said that it has terminated its agreement with Healthtrends Medical Investments to acquire ordinary shares in four target companies.