Jewellery Family' Gold Ru Rush Bon Sh Bonanza

The Birmingham Post (England), December 2, 2010 | Go to article overview

Jewellery Family' Gold Ru Rush Bon Sh Bonanza


Byline: ANNABLACKABY

FACTFILE In 1760 Alexander Betts came from battle in Sussex to the village of Birmingham to set up Betts and Sons, a smelting and refining business to recover gold, silver ores and precious metals from wastes being produced in Birmingham's new Jewellery Quarter.

His grandson John led the business until the late 1840s and became one of the first 16 elected aldermen of the first council of the city of Birmingham on its incorporation as a city in 1838.

During the mid-19th century the family became involved in exploration and trading overseas, notably Australia, where some family members emigrated to New South Wales and were involved in expanding the geological knowledge that led to the initial gold discoveries in Australia in 1851.

The early years of the 20th century were difficult for the business until after the First World War - the business may have failed had the factory not been prevented from closing due to its contribution to the war effort.

Betts Metal Sales was founded in 1985 to complement the firm's traditional smelting and refining services. Today it has a trade counter in Spencer Street.

In 2002 the group further diversified with the acquisition of Global Envirotec Solutions to boost its environmental division as well as Charles Booth, a supplier of dental alloys.

2005 Hummingbird Resources acquires licences for gold mining in Liberia.

Members of a Birmingham family active in the Jewellery Quarter gold trade since 1760 are hoping to raise pounds 25 million when they float their Liberian gold-mining offshoot this month. Independent experts have vouched that Hockley-based exploration firm Hummingbird Resources, part of the historic bullion firm Stephen Betts Group, is sitting on potential gold resources which could be worth more than $1 billion in the West African country.

The firm is the biggest holder of licences in untapped areas of the jungle in eastern Liberia, part of a geological zone which makes up one of the richest gold mining areas in the world. It is now planning to list on AIM to raise capital for further exploration on December 10, and the flotation is set to value the firm at at least pounds 77 million.

Hummingbird Resources was founded in 2005 when Stephen Betts, through his gold industry contacts, was approached by Liberian politicians to sell gold mining licences. …

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