EXCLUSIVE: Are the Guptas about to pull off a scam - and score R2bn a year?

23 March 2018 - 06:27 By Kyle Cowan
Optimum coal mine.
Optimum coal mine.
Image: JEREMY GLYN

An elaborate plan to buy the Tegeta-owned Optimum and Koornfontein coal mines might see the Gupta family regain control of the lucrative assets it had to forfeit to a business rescue process – and score R2-billion a year in profits.

The two mines, that supply coal to Eskom, have been placed under business rescue after landing in financial difficulty when the Bank of Baroda withdrew its services, causing a standstill of the Guptas’ mining operations.

But now a company, whose key figure has been closely linked to the Gupta family, has stalled efforts by business rescue practitioners to sell the mines, threatening legal action.

“It has come to my attention, from many people … that this guy is a front [for the Gupta family],” a mining industry insider told Times Select.

“We have to find out who is behind this thing [Charles King SA].”

Charles King SA already started a process to buy the two mines in August last year. But the process hit a hiccup when eight Gupta businesses, including Optimum and Koornfontein, were placed under voluntary business rescue in February.

Louis Klopper, one of the two business rescue practitioners appointed to oversee the rescue process at eight Gupta companies, told Times Select they had no comment at this stage.

Questions sent to Charles King SA, Optimum director Ugeshni Govender and Oakbay director Ronica Ragavan went unanswered.

For the full story visit Times Select

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