African Rainbow Content With Status Quo on Assore After UBS Note

African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, is content with its current alliance with Assore Ltd. after UBS AG said investors would welcome a merger of the two companies.

We “are happy with the status quo,” Chairman Patrice Motsepe said in an interview Dec. 3 in Johannesburg, adding both companies are committed to creating value for shareholders.

UBS wrote in a Dec. 1 report that investors would take “positively ” a merger between the two, which jointly control the country’s second-largest manganese producer, Assmang Ltd. Guido Sacco, father of current Assore Chairman Desmond Sacco, founded the company in 1950. Desmond Sacco wasn’t available to comment when Bloomberg called his office.

The company “has a very proud history and you’ve got to respect and be sensitive to the history and really the unique contributions that the Sacco family” has made, Motsepe said.

African Rainbow and Vale SA, the world’s biggest exporter of iron ore, are exploring for copper opportunities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, he said. They already have a joint-venture in Zambia, Africa’s largest copper producer, to develop the Konkola North mine.

The Johannesburg-based company is looking to spend as much as $800 million on growth projects, Motsepe said. The Konkola North mine, north of Vedanta Resources Plc’s Konkola Deep, will start production in 2013. Initial output is estimated at 50,000 metric tons a year, later expanding to 100,000 tons.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ron Derby in Johannesburg at rderby1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amanda Jordan at ajordan11@bloomberg.net

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