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Uncovering the Shareholders of a Canadian Mining Company Operating in West Africa

In Burkina Faso, a Canadian company called Orezone Gold is developing a mine that will affect at least 5,000 people. Inclusive Development International’s research team investigated the company’s shareholders to inform community advocates who are concerned about the project.

Orezone Gold is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Using the following sources, we were able to identify many of the company’s important shareholders:

1) Market websites:

A quick check of Yahoo Finance shows five shareholders in Orezone Gold, including Van Eck, a large asset manager based in the United States:

Another financial website, FT Markets, shows two additional significant Orezone shareholders: a firm called Sun Valley Gold, which has a 7.74% stake, and American Century Investment Management, with 1.60%:

2) Company filings:

A review of recent regulatory disclosures on Orezone Gold’s website reveals that it planned to hold an annual general meeting of shareholders in mid-2021. Page three of the meeting announcement shows that an entity called Resource Capital Fund VII LP holds a 19.28% stake in the company:

The next page of that announcement reveals that two members of Orezone Gold’s board of directors, Patrick Downey and Michael Halvorson, are also notable shareholders:

3) Online searches:

A Google search of “Resource Capital Fund VII,” Orezone’s largest shareholder, reveals a website for a mining investment firm called Resource Capital Funds. According to the website, the firm is based in the United States, meaning it is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC’s website contains a filing that describes Resource Capital Fund VII as a private equity fund. Private equity funds receive money from outside investors, sometimes including pension funds, which make strong pressure points. A Google search of “Resource Capital Fund VII” + “pension fund” reveals that pension funds for workers from the U.S. states of Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri have reportedly invested in the fund. Some of the online sources we found are official disclosures from the funds themselves, and some are media reports, the latter of which would need to be corroborated with other sources.

4) Public record requests:

Inclusive Development International researchers submitted public record requests to the pension funds in Oklahoma and Texas to corroborate that they are indeed investors in Resource Capital Fund VII. The documents we received confirmed these investments. Furthermore, the documents identified other pension funds that had invested in Resource Capital Fund VII that were not disclosed online.

Pulling together this research results in the following shareholder table:

Investor

Stake

Resource Capital Fund VII

19.28%

            Pension funds invested in RCF VII:

  • Missouri LAGERS
  • District of Columbia Retirement Board
  • Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions
  • Permanent University Fund
  • Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

Sun Valley Gold

7.74%

Van Eck

6.01%

Aegis Value

2.26%

American Century Global Gold Fund

1.86%

Patrick Downey, CEO

~1.85%

Michael Halvorson, Chairman

~1.80%

American Century Investment Management

1.60%

OCM Gold Fund

0.18%