Friday, 26 February 2010

Trans continental IP deal over Kenyan resource

Tiomin Resources Inc said it agreed to sell its Kwale mineral sands project in Kenya to Australian junior miner Base Iron Ltd for $3 million and a cash royalty, mainly to improve its cash position.The company said the deal includes the sale of intellectual property related to mineral sands projects in Africa and an option for Base Iron to acquire 100 percent of Tiomin's unit, Tiomin Kenya Ltd. The project, located south of Kenya's Mombasa port, is expected to produce titanium and zirconium. Last year, China's Jinchuan Group Ltd terminated an agreement under which the top Chinese nickel producer was to acquire 70 percent stake in the project. (source Reuters)
It is good to see merger and acquisition reports that acknowledge the IP aspects of deals such as these. A large number of transactions across Africa are about the continent's mineral wealth yet so often the answers from senior management to typical IP due diligence questionnaires are that these types of companies do not own IP. There is still much work to do in educating companies about what they actually own as a start and then, on how to record, value and manage it.

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