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29.01.2013 – 09:02

Ventura Fund Management Ltd.

Ventura Fund Management Ltd. to Launch Ventura Opportunities Fund with Focus on Direct Involvement to Release Value in Unappreciated Mining Opportunities

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (ots/PRNewswire)

Private Investment Fund Based in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, will Combine Disciplines of Focused Mining Investment with Strategies to Actively Participate at Executive Level within Select Portfolio Companies to provide Positive Value Catalysts

** Not for Dissemination in United States and/or Canada **

Ventura Fund Management Ltd. ("Ventura" or the "Company") announced its official launch today. Ventura's inaugural private investment fund, the Ventura Opportunities Fund (the "Fund") expects to be committed to investments in resource companies, listed and unlisted, by way of focused commodity, country and investment criterion. The Fund will remain exclusive after formation with a ceiling total investment of US$150 Million.

Ventura's experienced and respected founders and principals (the "Principals") are John K. Barker, Simon J. Lawrence and Kevin J. van Niekerk.

In differentiating its investment approach, the Company intends to deploy, where possible, its Principals and/or designated representatives sourced by the Principals into key executive management and/or board positions within portfolio companies. Ventura firmly believes that this will be a key criterion in assisting and facilitating a release of hidden value. The Fund expects to benefit from unique positive value catalysts developed through its Principals' proven track record, further enhanced by their substantial Brokerage, Investment Banking and Operational contacts. The ultimate aim of the Fund is to profit from the reputations and multi-cycle experiences of its Principals, continuing their records of consistently delivering real value to shareholders.

Following an unprecedented period of investment into the sector, the Principals believe that the market for resource focused stocks is forming a bottom. Significant market turbulence continues to restrict Treasury and financing options for many mining and junior resource companies and the Principals believe that favorable select opportunities exist for investors to re-enter undervalued assets through the Fund; ones that offer potential for significant value release in a reasonable period of time.

Speaking on behalf of the Principals, John Barker commented "We are grateful for the strong interest that knowledgeable key investors and professionals have already shown in our philosophy and vision. Ventura's Principals have many years of success in operations, marketing, analysis, broking and corporate strategy. Such skill sets provide understanding of how to transform, in a realistic time frame, underperforming situations and unlock hidden value for stakeholders. We are confident that Ventura will emerge as a leading private investment fund in our chosen space. Our commitment to a select portfolio of companies, combined with our experienced investor base and far reaching professional alliances, provides the foundation for a successful future for the Fund."

On Behalf of Ventura Fund Management Ltd.:

John K. Barker, Simon J. Lawrence and Kevin J. van Niekerk.

About the Principals:

Mr. Barker graduated in 1985 with a B.Sc. (Minerals Estate Management) from Sheffield City University and spent his first five years working in operations and strategic planning within South African mining companies. Mr. Barker then returned to the United Kingdom where, after 15 years as a Mining Analyst, (latterly as Managing Director within Royal Bank of Canada Dominion Securities), Mr. Barker returned back into industry. Subsequently, over the last 8 years, Mr. Barker has held various corporate related roles as an Executive, Director and Corporate Advisor within both listed and unlisted organizations. As a leading Mining Analyst, not only did Mr. Barker assess the corporate, operational, and exploration merits of many major and junior mining and resource entities worldwide, but he also developed regular contact with the world's leading mining investors. Over his career, Mr. Barker has had a successful record of associating himself with companies and assets that he has actively helped manage, market, evolve and release value within - names such as IvanPlats, Samax, Guinor Gold and DiaMet. In more recent roles, Mr. Barker has been intimately involved in the successful exploration, development, management and value enhancement of PGM, gold, coal and diamond assets. His experience spans companies listed in Toronto, Australia, Johannesburg, London and Oslo and Mr. Barker has actively participated in equity and debt financings in excess of US$600 Million.

Mr. Lawrence graduated in 1986 with a B.Eng. (Mining Engineering) from the Camborne School of Mines, United Kingdom. Mr. Lawrence began his career working in operations in South Africa returningto England in 1991 to obtain his MBA (International Finance). Thereafter, Mr. Lawrence joined HSBC James Capel and then ABN AMRO as a Mining Analyst. In this capacity, Mr. Lawrence visited and evaluated numerous mine projects around the world. In 2000, Mr. Lawrence moved to Canada and, since that time, has been involved with the marketing, structuring, financing, management and development of private and publicly listed exploration and resource companies. More recently, as President & Chief Executive Officer of Gold Eagle Mines Ltd., Mr. Lawrence guided that company through the discovery of a major multi-million ounce gold deposit in the famous gold camp of Red Lake, Ontario, Canada. With his combined expertise in operations, marketing and corporate strategy, Mr. Lawrence led Gold Eagle Mines Ltd. to commencement of shaft sinking, strategically positioning the company to the pointwhere it was acquired by Goldcorp Inc. for Cdn$1.5 Billion in late 2008.

Mr. van Niekerk: In early 2005, after more than 20 years of diverse business and operational experience in the mining, film, television and media industries, Mr. van Niekerk resigned his post as President & Chief Executive Officer of junior explorer, African Gold Group Ltd. and joined emerging African mine builder, Equinox Minerals Ltd., pursuing involvement in a mine development opportunity of significance: the Lumwana Copper project in Zambia. At Equinox, in his capacity as VP of Investor Relations & Corporate Development, Mr. van Niekerk was instrumental in raising the profile and liquidity of Equinox in North America and Europe. Through his diverse international network of mining, broker, investor and media contacts, Mr. van Niekerk developed and implemented marketing and corporate strategies that actively contributed to Equinox securing equity financings totaling over US$420 Million. With enhanced financial capacity established, Equinox built Lumwana becoming one of the world's top 20 copper producers. Equinox's market capitalization increased from ~US$70 Million in late 2004 to US$7.3 Billion in 2010 with the emergence of an all cash takeover by Barrick Gold Corporation concluding a remarkable story of value generation. Mr. van Niekerk holds a DipCSM in Minerals Technologies from the Camborne School of Mines, United Kingdom and began his career in operations in 1984 with Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines at Mufulira, Zambia.

About the Ventura Opportunities Fund:

The Ventura Opportunities Fund, the inaugural private investment fund launched by Ventura, is a 5-year closed ended private fund positioned to invest in both active and passive opportunities. Where possible, equity investments will be linked to instilled disciplines and strategies for Executive and Board of Directors to execute. The Fund will remain exclusive after formation with minimum and maximum investment hurdles and a ceiling total investment of US$150 Million. Ventura's vision will be global in focus and applied under a strict set of commodity, country and investment criterion. Ventura plans to charge a management fee of 2% per annum (0.5% per quarter) and a performance fee of 20% of net asset value appreciation, without hurdle.

Important legal information: This publication is meant for qualified investors and for information purposes only, and does not constitute a request to make an offer unless explicitly mentioned otherwise, a recommendation to buy or sell investment instruments or to carry out any other transactions. This publication is not the result of a financial analysis. Ventura Fund Management Ltd. ("Ventura") does not assume any liability for the content of this publication and, in particular, is not liable for loss or damage of any kind, including direct, indirect or consequential damage, which may arise as a result of the information contained in this publication and/or as a consequence of the inherent risks associated with financial markets. An investor should be aware that past price performance does not provide an indication of future performance for investments, and the value of investments may increase but may also decrease. Furthermore, investments in foreign currencies are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations. Ventura cannot consider the personal investment goals, financial situation and requirements of individual investors and therefore recommends that you consult with your financial and/or tax consultant with regard to any possible effects - including tax-related consequences - prior to investing in any of the products mentioned in this publication. In particular, the financial instruments discussed in this document may be unsuitable for an investor on the basis of his investment objective, time horizon, risk tolerance, financial situation or other personal circumstances Information contained in this publication may have been used by Ventura or its organs or employees prior to its publication. The publication and its content shall not be made available to persons with U.S. nationality or persons living in the U.S. The publication and its content shall not be made available to persons with Canadian nationality or persons living in Canada. Additional rules in the Ventura Opportunities Fund Private Placement Memorandum must be consulted before making any investments decision.

For further information:



John K. Barker: +27-(76)-8824802