Easy money for Patrice

Marcia Klein

Marcia Klein

African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) executive chairman Patrice Motsepe has made a cool R3,1billion in just five months since March.

The mining magnate is now worth R22,8billion based only on his shareholding in ARM, up from R19,7billion in March this year.

Motsepe is, according to the Sunday Times 2007 Rich List, the third wealthiest person in South Africa, ranked after Lakshmi Mittal (a non-South African but with an investment in Arcelor Mittal locally) and Nicky Oppenheimer.

His holdings in ARM and Sanlam were worth R13,5billion at the March 2007 cutoff date for last year's Rich List.

Today, he is worth R25billion, or nearly double that, in terms of his investments in ARM and Sanlam, and excluding any other sources of wealth, according to figures from Who Owns Whom.

Unlike the Mvelaphanda directors, who lost huge amounts of money as the share price of their company tanked, Motsepe can thank the rampant ARM share price as the value of his holding in Absa dropped slightly - to R2,2billion from R2,35billion in March.

The leap in the ARM share price mirrors the leap in earnings.

Yesterday ARM reported a massive 232percent increase in headline earnings to R4billion in the year to June.

Motsepe can also be grateful for the huge increase in the dividend. He will receive 400 cents for every share he owns.

The results reflect significant increases in earnings contributions from ARM Platinum, ARM Coal and ARM Ferrous with record sales volumes recorded in manganese ore, chrome ore, platinum group metals and thermal coal.

The doubling of sales reflects bigger volumes and the huge increase in commodity prices.

"The production and sales volume increases are especially significant this year, given the cutbacks and load shedding the operations have experienced from electricity utility Eskom. In the event that electricity cutbacks continue, ARM operations have put various mitigating and contingency plans in place at all operations to ensure minimal impact on volume production and sales," said ARM. - With I-Net Bridge