Building Sustainable
Businesses in Natural Resources



  • UMBONO means vision, idea or imagination and was established in 1998 – 20 years
  • We are a black-owned investor, developer and operator of projects in the resource and energy sectors from early stage development through to operations
  • Currently 15% of Umbono is owned by two broad-based trusts focused on education and development with 5% of the 15% set aside for entrepreneurial women empowerment
  • Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, we have developed resource projects in Southern Africa, Europe and North America
  • Exciting natural resource opportunities are presenting themselves in Southern Africa – particularly in oil and gas, exploration, mining and renewable energy
  • Our recently established Umbono 12J Venture Capital Fund is geared towards targeting some of these opportunities by leveraging our technical and commercial capabilities and experience whilst providing tax efficient structures for investors

Sunbird Energy

1 tcf gas reserve located offshore Northern Cape, South Africa with several development options

Lesego Platinum

39 million ounce platinum group element deposit located at a premier address on the Bushveld Complex, South Africa, at feasibility stage.

Keras Resources PLC

cobalt, nickel and manganese interests in Togo, West Africa, as well as a controlling interest in a significant gold exploration and development portfolio in Australia.

Greefspan II

Umbono together with their PV Energy partners Gransolar are the EPC providers for Old Mutual’s 55MW REIPP 4 Greefspan project

Pering Zinc

ex-BHP mine containing 1.7 million ton zinc and 0.1 million ton lead at bankable feasibility stage

Groothoek Coal

800 million ton surface coal deposit in Waterberg South Africa, adjacent to power station and 2km from rail infrastructure

Uitloop Nickel

>1bn ton open-pittable nickel deposit in South Africa, with shallow open pittable platinum zone & significant base metal credits

12J Investment Portfolio

Umbono together with its 12J Investors is building an impressive portfolio of projects in energy, mining, liquid fuels, manufacturing and cutting edge R&D


Core Team

Kerwin Rana – Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer

Kerwin holds a B.Sc. (Chemical Engineering) and is a Pr.Eng. with the Engineering Council of South Africa. He attended the Wits Business School, the Gordon Institute of Business Science and the London Business School, UK in attaining his executive education. Kerwin has 23 years of minerals and energy resource industry experience in Southern and East Africa including being the Head of New Business for De Beers, the General Manager of Kimberley Mines and a founding director of Sunbird Energy.

Dorian Wrigley – Managing Director

Dorian, a founder of Umbono, is a Civil Engineer, Pr.Eng. Dorian has 25 years experience in the mining and energy industry ranging from investment management, turn around strategies and investment banking activities such as capital raising, corporate restructurings, BEE transactions, mergers and acquisitions and disposals for major and junior mining companies.

Zenia Smith – Chief Legal Officer

After completing her articles, Zenia joined Umbono Natural Resources as in-house counsel. Zenia gained experience in corporate finance, minerals and mining, deal structuring as well as development of mineral projects from greenfield exploration to the completion of the bankable feasibility phase. Zenia served as company secretary to the various group companies. She specializes in mining law, corporate and company law as well as compliance and regulatory advice. Zenia has experience in drafting, vetting and negotiating agreements, including M&A’s from negotiation through to implementation.

Dr. Sakhile Ngcobo – Corporate and Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Ngcobo has a Ph.D. in Business Management specializing in the Mining Industry in South Africa (Wits Business School). His key qualifications are in Mineral Trading and Exports, Shipping, Mining Policy, Agricultural Finance; Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Impact Assessment, Rural Development and Policy Advocacy. He served on the board of African Thunder Platinum and was the De Beers executive responsible for the successful management of the restructuring and disposal of mines through effective stakeholder engagement, community and media relations.

Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi – Director

Phiwayinkosi, a founder of Umbono, holds a B.Sc. (Eng.) and a B.A. (PPE) from Oxford. He worked for De Beers for a number of years, initially in commissioning the Venetia Mine, later in diamonds marketing in London and in general management. Phiway has participated in various investment banking and advisory activities for the Umbono Group and its clients, and has been instrumental in Umbono’s investment acquisitions in South Africa.

Richard Montjoie – Technical

Richard holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in geology from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and is the Umbono technical lead executive. He has been involved in all stages of mining development, from heading up greenfield Ni-PGE and diamond exploration projects in the Canadian Arctic, to to brownfield exploration projects on the Platreef in South Africa, as well as project managing prefeasibility and feasibility studies. He has diverse experience in the various aspects of mineral rights and environmental licencing and community liaison.

Corporate Structure

Sector Focus

Owner and developer of Greenfields Exploration Projects
  • Concept targeting and exploration program design and execution;
Advanced stage exploration and definitive feasibility studies
  • Designing and managing drilling programmes – resource into reserve category;
  • Designing and managing full definitive feasibility studies;
  • Facilitating mining right application, IWUL and environmental authorisations;
Near production mining assets
  • Capital raising;
  • Managing owners team through final engineering design, construction to production;
Owner and developer of Renewable energy – Solar
  • Developing IPP opportunities;
  • 1MW to 60MW ;
  • Underpinned by 20-25 year Power Purchase Agreements;
  • Recently reached financial close on 55MW Solar PV EPC and O&M of which we own 40%;
Natural Gas & LNG
  • Major shareholder and Operator of the Ibhubesi Gas Project – Block 2A Production Right on domestic LNG development track;
Supplier of utility services to municipalities and regional public service providers
  • Electricity and water distribution services;
  • Capital investment - infrastructure;
  • Billing and Collections;
  • Capital raising;
  • Optimisation;
  • Reduction of technical and financial losses;
S12J Venture Capital Company
  • Tax efficient investment structure to enhance returns;
  • Ring fenced investment to a specific low risk investment opportunities;
  • Promote economic growth and job creation in South Africa;
  • Invest alongside Umbono in mining and energy;
Corporate Structure
Development Trusts

Leaders in Transformation

Leaders in Transformation (LIT) owns a 5% shareholding of Umbono South Africa, 100% financed by Umbono dividends since its inception in 2006. LIT specialises in leadership training based on biblical principles. We mentor and network with students and provide career support. LIT currently impacts over 2,500 students at premier South African Universities both in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Inhlakanipho Education & Development Trust

IEDT owns a significant shareholding in Umbono South Africa, largely financed by Umbono dividends since it’s inception in 2002. The trust selects highly gifted students from previously disadvantaged homes and funds them to attend top schools in South Africa while providing mentorship and holding an annual leadership development camp. Over 40 students have been funded to date (50% female, 100% youth). Further programs are in place to strengthen and improve schools linked to communities where our energy and mining projects are situated.

The programme has produced some stars:  MIT named a minor planet after Siyabulela Xusa for his work in rocket fuel innovation. He created a revolutionary new fuel cell technology while graduating at Harvard. He came first place in Intel’s young global innovators awards in 2007.

Our first student intake in 2002

Adelaide Mothata

Yeoville,  Crawford, Lonehill

Nsika Ngcobo

Pietermaritzburg, Hilton College, Kwazulu Natal

Patrick Mokhanda

Killarney, King Edward School, Gauteng

Grace Malavi

Hammanskraal, Crawford, Kwazulu Natal

John-Pierre Fortuin

Cape Flats,  St. Joseph Marists, Cape Town

Lethiwe Nkosi

Mondeor, Roedean, Gauteng

Siyabulela Xuza

Johannesburg, St. John’s College, Gauteng

Thabisile Ngobo

Daveton, Crawford, Kwazulu Natal

Development Trusts
Investment Opportunities

12J Structure

Qualifying Investor

  • Investment 100% tax deduction against taxable income (salary, bonus, capital gains etc.);
  • Hold VCC shares for a minimum of 5 years;
  • Connected party rule applied after 36 months;
  • Ring fenced to a specific investment or a specific class of investments;

12J Venture Capital Company “VCC”

  • SARS and FSB registration;
  • Important compliance obligations to be met;
  • South African resident;
  • Sole purpose is investment of 12J funds;
  • After 36 months, 80% of expenditure of VCC to be invested in qualifying investments;

Qualifying Investee

  • Benefits from the lower cost of funding;
  • Less risk attached to equity than standard debt obligations;
  • Needs to be a South African resident and not a controlled group company;
  • Unlisted unless junior miner;
  • Some exclusions (e.g. investment vehicles, fixed property etc.);
  • Book value after
    investment to be;
  • Less than R500m
    in the mining sector;
  • Less than R50m
    in other sectors;

Self Structured Investments

Given the benefits of a 12J structure an opportunity exists to:

  1. Enhance investment returns
  2. Reduce cost of equity funding
  3. Create a more robust business case

Umbono is able to work together with entrepreneurs looking to raise capital for their new or existing business ventures in such a way that it makes the offering to their investors significantly more attractive.

These offerings require a high degree of tailoring and customization but always result in value for the investors, the entrepreneur (the investee) as well as the venture capital fund.

The 12J benefit significantly increases the size of the investment pie allowing a sharing of value and upside between the parties.

Typical Returns

Enhanced 12J Structure Returns

IPP Opportunities

No upfront capital cost and reduced exposure to Eskom increases

Aligns IPP objectives with business objectives – warranties and performance over full term of PPA

Good corporate citizen – committed to green energy and BBBEE development

Predictable power costs with low annual escalations

Full flexibility to retain, increase or decrease investment in IPP

Competitive PPA price through accessing competitive funding sources – 12J and non recourse debt

Reduced risk, pay only for performance against kWh produced

Retain focus on core business, whilst energy experts deliver on EPC, operations, maintenance, repairs etc.

IPP Returns of 8-10% p.a. typically lower than core business cost of capital

IPP Structure

Investment Opportunities

Tel +27 (0) 11 484 5005
Fax +27 (0) 11 484 5004

31 West Street
Houghton Estate
South Africa

Kerwin Rana
Managing Director
+27 11484 5005

Dorian Wrigley
Managing Director
+27 11484 5005

Richard Montjoie
Technical Director
+27 11484 5005