Atul Gupta and Duduzane Zuma File picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has welcomed the sale of Tegeta Exploration and Resources by Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments to foreign-owned company for close to R3 billion. 

This comes after Oakbay Investments announced that it had agreed to sell its interest in Tegeta to the little-known Swiss-based Charles King SA for R2.97 billion in a bid "to save employees' jobs". 

Tegeta, comprising of Optimum, Koornfontein, and Optimum Coal Terminal, is under scrutiny after Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba ordered National Treasury to do a forensic probe into its coal contract with Eskom.  

The sale of Tegeta, which is owned by President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane and the Gupta family, is subject to regulatory requirements and fulfilment of conditions in the agreement which is expected to be completed within 12 months. 

Also read: Guptas sell mining unit Tegeta for R2.97bn

DMR said  in a statement that it had been duly informed by Oakbay of the effective sale and welcomed the undertaking to save employees' jobs in Tegeta's various operations.

"The department continues to work with all stakeholders on the stability and sustainability of the industry, and welcomes all initiatives by current and potential investors to curb job losses," DMR said. "The purchaser has committed to a minimum level of 30% BEE compliance. The transaction will be concluded in line with provisions in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act."

Charles King owner, Amin Al Zarooni, said that South African mining opportunities were an "extremely attractive" proposition and that his company had been looking for a long time to invest in the country. "And once we have bought the business we will, of course, be looking for a Black Economic Empowerment partner," Al Zarooni said.

- African News Agency (ANA)