The Bottom Line

HB&A and its associate company Merlin Mineral Resources Limited took Kermas Limited (BVI) to Court in the BVI over the fact that HB&A and Merlin shareholders were intentionally deprived of their shares in Samancor Nickel (HK) Limited by Kermas . Three proceedings were heard in the BVI Court before presiding Judge Edward Bannister. The Judge failed to declare his relationship with the CFO of Kermas Limited in the first two proceedings prior to the trial, ignored clear and substantiated evidence presented by HB&A/Merlin in the trial, made false allegations against HB&A/Merlin shareholder Mr Hugh Brown in his judgement, and preferred unsubstantiated evidence given to his Court by a convicted fraudster  (the Chairman of Kermas Limited Dr Danko Koncar). Mr Brown’s substantiated evidence, which the Judge dismissed as false and untrue in his judgement was further upheld through the submission of an affidavit post the judgment, by a partner from Webber Wentzel in Johannesburg who had acted as Samancor Ni legal counsel prior to legal proceedings. The Judges findings and judgement were described by Stanley Brodie QC (Inner Temple London) as “unbalanced, “unfair”, “unsound in fact”, “wrong in law” “regrettable”, and that “wrongly the learned Judge preferred the evidence of Koncar on every issue, without any credible explanation”.  Mr Brodie QC also said that the Judges findings related to the document dated September the 28th (judgement para 47) were false. The Judge also did not question (and accepted in his judgment) Koncar’s evidence given in Court that his previous sworn statement admitted into evidence by the Court, “had not been sworn to by him, and that it was a fabrication on the part of his attorney”. (The attorney in question was in Court at the time Koncar gave this “new evidence”, but he was not questioned by the learned Judge on this issue). The learned Judge also accepted (stated in his judgment) false claims made by Koncar in his evidence related to the status of the project studies and the value of the project  at the time, in the face of contrary credible evidence from independent competent persons stating the status of the studies and the value of the mineral resources in question, already submitted to Court.


Samancor Nickel (HK) limited was a joint venture between Kermas (BVI) Limited and Merlin Mineral Resources Limited, to develop the Musongati nickel and platinum resource in Burundi.


In 1980 Danko Koncar was convicted of fraud in the former Czechoslovakia and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. He served 6 years.


A valuation of the mineral resources conceded to the company, based on drilling and assays and studies done at that time, by a recognized, registered independent professional organization which is recognized and relied on by listed companies and stock exchanges worldwide on mineral resource/reserve valuations.