Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 13:58:52 EDT
Reply-To: FORUM PAN-AFRICA <AFRICA-L@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU>
Sender: FORUM PAN-AFRICA <AFRICA-L@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU>
From: Matekopoko <Matekopoko@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Just for Your Information so that you know!!!!
To: Multiple recipients of list AFRICA-L <AFRICA-L@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU>
America Mineral Fields Inc. Reiterates Its Commitment To Congolese Government
By America Mineral Fields, 6 April 1998
VANCOUVER, April 6 /CNW-PRN/ - Bernard Vavala, Chairman of America Mineral Fields Inc. (the "Company"), announces that, in an effort to dispel any misunderstandings with the Congolese government, the Company is re-releasing its news release of March 23, 1998 which clarified its relationship with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, the Company is making public a letter, dated March 20, 1998, which its Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Malouf, addressed to the government. The Company remains firmly committed to President Kabila and the Congolese people and, to that end, is engaging in a dialogue at the highest levels of the Congolese government to advance mining projects in the Congo which will benefit the Congolese people and the Company's shareholders.
Copy of release first issued March 23, 1998: America Mineral Fields, Inc. clarifies its relationship with the Democratic Republic of the Congo
America Mineral Fields Inc. (the "Company") has observed that in recent months there has been much speculation in the print media and on the internet about its relationship with the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the "DRC"). Today, in this press release, the Company sets forth the facts concerning its dealings with the Congolese government. The Company states categorically that during its numerous contacts with government officials, that the Company's representatives have been treated professionally and courteously. Furthermore, no representative of the Company has ever been asked to do anything inappropriate by any member of the government. The Company believes that all members of the government have acted in a manner which they believe best served the interests of the DRC.
While others have purported to speak on our behalf, America Mineral Fields Inc. reiterates that only news releases signed by the Chairman, President or CEO express the official position of the Company. The Company strongly objects to and formally denies declarations in the media which have in any way cast doubt on the honour and integrity of any member of the DRC government. America Mineral Fields Inc. stands by its own statements regarding the DRC which have promoted co-operation and partnership. The Company believes that its significant investment in the DRC over the past year demonstrates its confidence in and commitment to President Kabila and the Congolese people.
On behalf of the Board of
America Mineral Fields Inc.
Copy of letter dated March 20, 1998
Honorable Pierre-Victor Mpoyo
Minister of the Economy and Petroleum
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Re: America Mineral Fields
I have just been elected CEO and President of America Mineral Fields Inc. ("AMF"), the parent company of America Mineral Fields International ("AMFI"). I am writing to you personally and on behalf of AMFI in an effort to address several matters of concern to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and AMFI.
First, on March 17, 1998, I directed that AMFI's lawsuit against Anglo American Corporation of South Africa be dismissed.
AMFI has made a number of mistakes in the Congo. Some mistakes were the result of accepting the advice of consultants without considering carefully the wisdom of the advice. Others were the result of AMFI's lack of understanding of, and sensitivity to, the new Government.
The first incident involved a consultant to AMFI who was abusive to a member of President Kabila's guard at the airport in Lumbumbashi. It is my understanding that the incident involved an aircraft seconded to President Kabila by Mr. Jean Boulle. The second incident involved my telephone conversation with you in November during which I requested a meeting with you. I also understand that a former executive was rude to you and other members of the Government and your staff, both when he acted as a consultant for another company, and when he acted on behalf of AMFI. I want to apologize to you personally for each of these actions. I cannot turn back the clock. I can, however, make a personal commitment to you that such actions will cease.
Mr. Minister, I also know that you have been offended by various press reports that made allegations without foundation, including articles in the New York Times and on the Internet. I was troubled by these reports because the reader was left with the impression that the "information" came from AMFI. To my knowledge, no person employed by or acting on behalf of AMFI has made any claim or allegation of the kind that were reported in these publications. I am sorry that these reports appeared in articles in which AMFI was mentioned.
I have met with at least a dozen Government officials in Kinshasa. In every instance, I have been treated professionally and courteously. Neither I nor anyone else acting for AMFI has been asked to do anything inappropriate by any member of the Government. Indeed, even though AMFI is disappointed that the Kolwezi Tailings Project convention has not been signed, its employees, representatives, and consultants have continuously confirmed that you and every other member of the Government have always acted out of what you believed to be in the best interests of the Congo.
In order to reinforce what we have previously said, we enclose copies of all the News Releases of our company during the last six months. These are the only documents for which our company is responsible; they are recognized by The Toronto Stock Exchange. You will find that there is no reference to your name in any of these documents and there is not a single comment that casts even the slightest doubt on the honor or integrity of your Government or its members.
In the News Release, which is annexed to this letter, AMFI strongly reaffirms that those members of Government with whom AMFI has dealt have, without exception, conducted themselves above reproach. At no time has it ever been suggested that AMFI undertake activities that were not transparent or above- board. I have asked Mr. Colette to deliver this to you on behalf of AMF and AMFI. I would, however, like the opportunity to meet with you personally to extend my apologies. In the meantime, I remain,
Stephen F. Malouf
On behalf of the Board of
America Mineral Fields Inc.
Bernard Vavala, Chairman
SOURCE America Mineral Fields Inc.