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Sandpiper bashing

Dear Sir,
The article “Sandpiper Phosphate Resource Upgraded” in the Namibia Economist of 31 August 2012 refers.
This article has in turn been published by and by
The article is not based on any proper research. It does not contribute anything to the debate on this important issue. On the contrary, it repeats unsubstantiated views. It confuses the reader. It fails to mention the real concerns, let alone discuss and voice an enlightened opinion on them.
It is disturbing that such an article was not only published by your esteemed newspaper known for its quality reporting, but that it had now been given further prominence by others internationally who had lifted this article surely in all good faith to inform their readers worldwide.
The author paints the financial and other figures about the Sandpiper project also in glowing terms. In doing so he is apparently unaware of the report in the Mining Weekly of last month. In it attention is drawn to the fact that an original target statement from Minemakers contained “material misstatements and omissions regarding the valuation of the JV Sandpiper project and Minemaker’s cash position and the valuation of its shares, as well as other issues”. That claim was made by UCL Resources which is holding with Minemakers a 85% share in Namibia Marine Phosphate (NMP) being the owners of Sandpiper.
The obvious question now arises and which Minemakers and NMP conveniently ignore: Have Minemakers and NMP made equally “material misstatements and omissions” in presenting Sandpiper to their various Namibian audiences? Can anything be believed of what has been said about Sandpiper? Especially the financial side of it!
Are these figures now being published in that article also to impress a variety of NMP’s audiences and based on these “misstatements and omissions”?
It is incumbent upon both Minemakers and NMP to level with all their Namibian audiences and spell out in full detail and in clear terms what material misstatements and omissions had been made in respect of Sandpiper. Are these figures just being perpetuated in the hope that somehow, somewhere a gullible and non-the-wiser audience and reader will fall for these too good to be true figures.
If full openness and transparency are not forthcoming then the suspicion about the intentions of the two Australian companies will be reinforced and will NMP and its Sandpiper project be viewed with even more apprehension. Until that happens the figures quoted are meaningless beyond comment.
Another point in the article which the author surely could have addressed more appropriately is his observation that dredging will affect “water quality” and that “not much is known how the phosphate sediment will affect the hake”.
He has obviously not followed any of the debate on what this issue is all about. Otherwise, he would have been more aware of the concerns expressed and consequences foreseen by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, international and local marine biologists and the whole fishing industry. The full range of  repercussions have been in the public domain now for several months and could have been consulted with little or no effort. His observations leave the impression that marine phosphate mining is not that serious. That is an irresponsible and careless impression to leave when all present evidence, statistical measurements and scientific studies point to precisely the opposite.
The simple fact which needs to be faced is that the ocean can’t accommodate both a viable fishing industry and a disruptive mining exercise. These two forms of resource utilisation cannot co-exist. It is either the one or the other to thrive – not both. To believe otherwise and use that as a lynchpin argument, illustrates the shallowness of the case presented to advance the projects on a near could-not-care-less approach.
An inept understanding of marine resources and sound marine environmental management is deeply worrying.
Thank you.
Swakopmund Matters

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.