A Tanzanian company is demanding $195 million in damages from African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) founded in 1997 by South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe.
Tanzania’s Pula Graphite Partners and its parent company, Pula Group allege that ARM breached non-disclosure and non-compete agreements.
ARM, a mining and minerals company with strategic positions in iron, coal, copper, gold, platinum, and other precious metal mining projects was founded as South Africa’s first black-owned mining company.
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The suit, which is being heard at the Commercial Division of the High Court of Tanzania, is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on January 10, 2023, according to Billionaires Africa.
The case relates to a July 2019 agreement in which the two firms agreed to share confidential information and not enter into agreements with potential competitors for a period of two years.
Pula claims that during this time, ARM invested in an Australian company called Evolution that also explores graphite in Ruangwa, Lindi Region in Tanzania, where Pula’s own graphite project is located.
Pula Group President Mary Mildred Stith says that they have sufficient evidence to prove their case against ARM.
Motsepe currently owns a 39.7per cent stake in ARM, which is worth more than $1.1 billion and accounts for the majority of his wealth.
In October 2020, Motsepe received $103 million in final dividends from his stake in ARM, less than four months after earning $69.6 million in interim payments.