Open letter on Berkeley’s impending move to London Stock Exchange

AIM regulation London Stock Exchange

Cc Financial Conduct Authority

Re Berkeley Energia

We are concerned with the potential significance of the recently announced moves of the AIM registered company Berkeley to seek full LSE listing on the London Stock Exchange and its intentions to offer extended but limited shares sales to institutions.

Our concerns are based upon the strongly contested assertions on the company’s website that:

  • It has strong community support for its planned opencast uranium mine. We contest that the reverse is true.
  • The appeals against the permits it has been granted have been contested and are unsuccessful, and we consider that this is misleading.

It is well known that opencast uranium mining is inherently risky, and that these risks are not effectively expressed by the company.

The basis of its business model has so far been based upon, inter alia, its announced off-take contract with a company with no known commercial activity which phoenixed itself, that is one small company was liquidated and another formed by one of the two individuals [InterAlloys and Curzon Resources].

We link to a case-study on the company prepared in the context of planned advocacy on more rigorous AIM listing requirements, to help advance our arguments.

On the face of it, it may seem paradoxical for us to argue against full listing with its assumed more rigorous listing requirements.  We would certainly advocate that effective non-financial reporting requirements as envisaged in 414CB should be applied to AIM listed companies.

It is apparent however that Berkeley Energia would fit the exceptional provisions for its not being required to publish non-financial reports including risk evaluations and assessments. It is clear that the UKG has implemented, in its 2016 Accounts and Non-Financial Reporting Regulations, the requirements of Directive 2013 34 EU in ways that would exempt most mining companies which invariably have workforces of less than 500.

The other criterion based upon turnover, will not apply to such a company until it has already started production so that foundations for popular acceptance have gone past the point of public participation under Aarhus for effective remedial co-operative action on regulatory and operational improvements.

While the Directive’s provision for mandatory reporting for a category of ‘public-interest’ companies would fit the specific nature of extractives, it has not been applied.

We recommend and urge you to hold back the listing.

Regards,

Richard Harkinson

Research associate

London Mining Network

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