Alluvial Diamond Mining Expert Wants Changes to Rockwell Boardadmin
Hennie Van Wyk, the former owner and operator of the majority of the assets of Rockwell Diamonds Inc., and a holder of approximately 4.3% of Rockwell, today commented on Pala Investments Holdings’ proposed slate of directors for Rockwell.
“As a shareholder of Rockwell, I have grave concerns about the current mismanagement of the company I helped create. I left Rockwell because of management’s inability, under the leadership of the current CEO, to develop a cohesive mine plan and their general struggle to grasp basic alluvial diamond-mining operational concepts,” said Mr. Van Wyk. “Pala has put forward a board of directors, including me, that possesses the alluvial diamond-mining, South African, management and financial experience necessary to turn Rockwell around. In addition, I note that the proposed slate of directors enjoys the full support of Rockwell’s black economic empowerment partner. As anyone who understands South Africa knows, this is an essential component for success in this country. I look forward to working with the new board to create value for all shareholders, including myself.”
Hennie Van Wyk has agreed to join the board in order to take an active role in Rockwell’s near-term restructuring by applying his expansive operational expertise and knowledge of Rockwell’s particular assets to the challenges facing Rockwell. Mr. Van Wyk has over 15 years of experience in the South African alluvial diamond mining industry. He is one of the most renowned and innovative forces in South African alluvial diamond mining, having spent his whole career in the alluvial terraces of the Middle Orange and Vaal Rivers. Mr. Van Wyk has an unparalleled knowledge of all Rockwell’s mining operations and processing plant, having founded HC Van Wyk Diamonds in 1994, which successfully owned and operated the Holpan and Klipdam mines prior to their acquisition by Rockwell. After Rockwell’s acquisition, Mr. Van Wyk subsequently joined Rockwell’s senior management team as Operations Director in 2006 and continued to manage the development and operation of those same mines. He also oversaw the design and development of all of Rockwell’s processing plants and continues to be a sizeable shareholder of Rockwell. Mr. Van Wyk has since left Rockwell due to his frustrations over the way senior management were operating the company.
Rockwell’s current Chief Executive Officer said about Mr. Van Wyk on September 25, 2008, “Hennie van Wyk has done a great job in completing and initiating pre-commissioning of the new final-recovery facility some three weeks ahead of schedule…Much of the innovation made in this facility is driven by the many years of practical hands-on experience that Hennie van Wyk and his team accumulated while building a successful alluvial diamond business.”