Financial Express, 15 May 2003, Commodities Bureau :
Mumbai, May 15: India, the world’s largest gold-consuming nation, has finally got its maiden stock exchange-listed gold mining company in the form of Deccan Gold Mines Ltd (DGML). This is thanks to the promoters of Perth-based Australian Indian Resources (AIR) Pty Ltd who, through one of their Mauritius-based companies, Rama Mines (Mauritius) Ltd (RMML), have invested almost 98 per cent in DGML. DGML is a Bangalore-based gold exploration company, and its promoter RMML funds all its activities in gold exploration. DGML came into existence by virtue of a reverse merger with BSE-listed Wimper Trading Ltd with effect from January 21, 2003, and was essentially acquired as a shell company.
If the company’s plan go as chalked out, India could witness a ‘treasure chest’ opened by 2005, by which time the Indian investors could possibly invest in the shares of DGML, which even plans to get its shares listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) “soon”.
DGML managing director Sandeep Lakhwara told FE: “We are currently engaged in prospecting gold from four areas in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and have invested around Rs 10 crore for mining and other related activities.”
All the exploration for gold for DGML is currently done by Geomysore Services (India) P. Ltd (GMSL), which is a 100 per cent subsidiary of AIR.
The top four shareholders of Rama Mines Mauritius are Charles Devenish, Mark Creasy, Rama Mines NL and Sandeep Lakhwara. However, the shareholders of AIR own shares in Rama Mines in the same proportion to their shareholding in AIR.
AIR chairman Charles Devenish said, “We have been tracking and maintaining all related statistics since the past two decades and have been actively interested in India since the past nine years after deregulation of gold prospecting since 1994.”
According to Mr Devenish, there is a huge untapped potential in both exploration and mining activities in India and it is through the combination of their latest mining and exploration technology and capital that they hope to achieve the desired results. “There are big surprises coming India’s way and in this direction we are not a small force,” he added.
AIR was constituted in 1993 with a view to tapping some of the highly prospective areas in India for gold and base metals.
AIR has invested more than Rs 10 crore in India and is one of the largest private investors in gold mines in India.
Mr Lakhwara said: “We are here to make discoveries of gold and base metal deposits and fuel the development of the mining industry in India. All of our funding to date has been provided through foreign direct investment.”