Discovery of the discovery sector, A trench war in the pit?
Mining and Business Magazine gives a voice to Pascal Beveraggi, Chairman of NB Mining, on the issues that dominate the market.
Mining & Business: Mr. Beveraggi, you are now the designated purchaser of NB Mining, can you shed some light on the circumstances that led you to take over this company and the reasons for becoming its owner?
Pascal Beveraggi: The circumstances are unfortunately due to the difficulties of the Necotrans group and the opening of the lawsuit that led the Paris Commercial Court to proceed with a plan to sell assets. Today, I confirm that my offer to buy back the Necotrans group, of which NB Mining is a part, by taking over the mining assets of the group was accepted by the Paris Commercial Court. My subscription follows my personal involvement in this company, of which I was appointed president in November 2015. My commitment to this company for nearly two years is total and uncompromising. I was able to develop my relations and improve my knowledge of the country and its economic environment in particular. This experience allowed me to consider this buyout project with the necessary hindsight and pursue my development objectives as planned. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country of opportunities and challenges that offer particularly exciting development prospects. I think that French companies should be more interested in it and personally, I am totally committed to a global process that will allow me to assist them in their installation project.
M&B: Speaking of continuity, are you going to change your strategy?
PB: I have no reason to change my strategy or my business model, I have total independence today, I have to measure all the benefits, but also all the risks associated with it. In these circumstances, there will be no before and after! NB Mining will continue to build and assert its identity as an independent player in the mining sector.
M&B: What do you think are the priorities for 2017 and what is your medium-term vision of market developments in the DRC?
PB: The Congolese government has promulgated a necessary law this year to organise the sub-contracting in the country’s mining sector and has asked companies to comply with it. It is now a priority for me to incorporate the terms of this founding law, which will bring together the sector’s businesses and the fabric of Congolese businesspeople. I believe it is essential that these two worlds meet and work closely together, as is done in other countries. It is also crucial to counter the recurrent paralogism that tends to consider all foreign companies as pillagers of wealth. To me, it seems necessary to classify this remnant of a painful history and to recognise that the future and development of the country is only possible through collaboration between Congolese companies and entrepreneurs in a spirit of professionalism and reciprocity. Ultimately, the involvement of Congolese economic actors should lead to greater transparency and understanding in the mining sector and stimulate great operational dynamism.
M&B: You have the reputation of being particularly close to power. Do you confirm this?
PB: I have no particular proximity to the government. I remain in my place, and though I pursue my industrial project with more risks and responsibilities today, I am not paying particular attention to this issue. In general, I consider it essential to maintain good relations with all the clients in the sector and, as such, I would remind you that the state is a direct or indirect part of them.