Black Mountain Mining, operated by Vedanta Zinc International, has established an employee share ownership plan (ESOP), the terms of which have been reached through consultation between mine management and the National Union of Mineworkers.
The ESOP will be overseen by a trust, known as the Voorspoed Trust, comprising three union-appointed trustees, one Black Mountain representative trustee and an independent trustee. The ESOP will be in place for a 7-year period effective from 1 April 2017.
Six percent of Black Mountain shares were issued to the trust on 1 April 2017. Half of these shares were acquired by the trust through a contribution from the company and at no cost to employees. The other half were funded through a notional loan provided by the company. The amount of the notional loan will not be subject to any interest charge for the first three years, and will thereafter be subject to a notional interest charge of 9.25% until the expiry of the ESOP.
The trust will hold the shares on behalf of qualifying employees – current and future – who will be allocated trust participation units. Awards of participation units to future employees will be proportionally lower than those of existing employees, based on their year of joining the company.
Qualifying employees are all current and future permanent foremen, supervisors, artisans and operators of Black Mountain’s South African operations. Currently, there are 702 employees in these categories.
An annual guaranteed dividend payment of R3 500 (net of tax) will be made to the beneficiaries of the trust for the duration of the plan.
In year five, half of the Black Mountain shares held by the trust may vest and a pay out may be due to beneficiaries. However, the trustees and the company may, in consultation, decide to postpone vesting of the shares owned by the trust that are subject to the notional loan if it is determined to be in participants’ best interests. In year seven, all the shares will vest and any value of remaining shares will be paid out to the participants.
In both instances, any payout values will depend on the value of Black Mountain’s shares held by the trust at that time, less any trust expenses. Because Black Mountain is not a listed company, the value of the company and of the shares held by the trust will be determined at required points by an independent valuer.
Vedanta Zinc International CEO Deshnee Naidoo commented: “I am excited about the ESOP. It not only recognises the importance of our employees who sustain our business, it is a practical way for us to live Vedanta’s values with employees being financially rewarded for their contributions to their operation’s success.”
Andre Trytsman, General Manager of Black Mountain Mining, expressed his enthusiasm, stating: “We are committed to sharing Black Mountain’s potential prosperity with those who contribute to its success - our employees.”
NUM BMM Branch Chairperson, Darryl Crew, described the plan as: “a positive step…. If Black Mountain performs well and grows, employees who own participation units will share financially in this success.”
Charmane Russell and Alan Fine
Russell and Associates
Telephone: +27 (0)11 880 3924
Vedanta Resources plc (Vedanta) is a London listed diversified global natural resources company. The group produces aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, silver, iron ore, oil & gas and commercial energy. Vedanta has operations in India, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Liberia, Australia and Sri Lanka. With an empowered talent pool globally, Vedanta places strong emphasis on partnering with all its stakeholders based on the core values of trust, sustainability, growth, entrepreneurship, integrity, respect and care. For more information, please visit www.vedantaresources.com.
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