Katti donates Kombat shares to community

15 July 2021 | Business

STAFF REPORTER



WINDOEK

Businessman Knowledge Katti says he has donated 10% of his shares in Kombat Mine to the local community and people resettled at government’s Neu Sommerau farm.

Namibian Sun yesterday reported that the mine, which is now majority owned by Canadian firm Trigon Metals, is set to open in December.

The mine can employ up to 300 people once fully operational, Trigon said.

Katti’s Havana Investments initially acquired 100% ownership of Kombat Mine from South African company Grove Mining – reportedly for N$50 million – but later sold 80% of its stake to Trigon, retaining 20%.

The sale of the shares was to help raise capital and have a technical partner on board to help resurrect operations again, Katti said.

Havana then donated 10% of its stake to the community, through state-owned Epangelo Mining.

“I donated 10% of my own share in the mine to the community of Kombat and Neu Sommerau to participate in future benefits. This donation was made via Epangelo Mining,” Katti said yesterday.

In Namibian hands

Asked how the benefits of the donated shares will trickle down to the community, Katti said: “Epangelo is essentially government - and we expect them to do the right thing. I have full confidence in their CEO and trust that a meeting between all stakeholders can come up with the best strategies to benefit the community”.

“The donation was made with the vision that a child born in Kombat or nearby settlements can have future economic value and be proud to be part of his or her own community despite the hardship of the parents,” he added.

Although Katti sold the majority stake in the mine itself, he retains ownership of the land at Kombat – something that in the past generated heated debates all throughout the country.

The businessman said the nature of the mining business is such that ownership changes constantly in the industry and it was critical that, for the first time, Kombat land is in local hands.

“I kept 100% of the land and properties in order to make sure we never sell land to foreign mining companies and rather let mining companies focus on mining,” he told Namibian Sun.

“The vision was clear - we know mining companies can change shareholders and can change jurisdictions. And our strategy was never to allow foreign decisions impact our land and properties.

“That’s why we could today take our own decisions to renovate houses and attract Welwitchia University to operate in Kombat.”