On December 14th, 2019, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development signed an agreement with a British Company called Anglo Somaliland Minerals LTD.
The announcement posted on the Ministry’s Facebook page shows the Minister Hon. Jama Egal singing and shaking hands with an unidentified gentleman but did not elaborate on the nature of the agreement, where the company will be mining in Somaliland and what type of minerals they would extracting.
There is no evidence that Anglo Somaliland Minerals has done much before it signed the agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, however, Mr. Beckett, the majority owner of ASM has been involved in mineral extraction for years in other parts of Africa.
Mr. Beckett is the owner of few other companies and among them a rather active mining concern known as Kerilee Investments Limited, the is the majority shareholder of KI3R Minerals Ltd which owns the Nyamuliro tungsten mine in Uganda.
Kerilee Investments Limited has had a number of legal challenges over the year involving its mining operation in Uganda and as recently as a month after Mr. Beckett registered Anglo Somaliland Minerals, KI3R Minerals Ltd has laid off much of its workforce in its tungsten mine in Uganda citing cash flow and other issues.
Kerilee Investments is currently suing ITSCI a mineral supply chain due diligence watchdog in Ugandan court for accusing KI3R Minerals Ltd to be involved in conflict minerals.
Although the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon. Jama Egal has been to Uganda, it is unclear if the ministry is aware of Mr. Beckett’s history and reviewed his past legal challenges in Uganda and Kenya. It is also unclear if enough due diligence was performed by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to vet Mr. Beckett and Anglo Somaliland Minerals.
During the Minister’s visit to Uganda, a statement published on the Ministry’s website stated that the ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ugandan Ministry of Minerals. No detail on the contents of the memorandum was made public.
Somaliland government has had a history of signing several questionable agreements in the past while also successfully attracting DP World, Coca Cola, and other companies despite its unrecognized status.
Efforts to reach Mr. Beckett and Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon. Jama for details on the agreement and why Mr. Beckett chose to create a new entity with no track record for his work with Somaliland and not use his existing Kerilee Investment were unsuccessful.