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Business News of Thursday, 5 April 2018

Source: Dailyguideafrica.com

Gold Fields, Asanko Gold to partner

South Africa’s Gold Fields and Asanko Gold of Canada have announced a 50:50 joint venture partnership with regards to Ghana’s newest gold mine, the Asanko Gold Mine (AGM), which is located in the Ashanti Region.

Gold Fields will pay Asanko Gold a total consideration of US$185 million to buy a 50% interest in Asanko’s 90% holding of the AGM, which comprises two main deposits, Nkran and Esaase, nine known satellite deposits, a 5 million tonne per annum Carbon-in-Leach plant and a number of highly prospective exploration targets.

As part of the joint venture agreement, Asanko will continue to manage and operate the AGM.

A management committee, comprising representatives from Asanko and Gold Fields, will be formed to oversee the operation of the mine.

Upon completion expected in the third quarter of 2018, Gold Fields and Asanko will each hold a 45% interest in the AGM.

The Government of Ghana’s ownership of 10% (through a free carried interest) will remain unchanged.

Benefits for Gold Fields

The joint venture will provide Gold Fields with immediate access to low-cost production ounces, increasing the quality of Gold Fields’ portfolio of mines around the world.

The transaction is also in line with Gold Fields’ growth strategy of focusing on jurisdictions in which it already has an established footprint.

As the AGM is located in Ghana, about 100km from Gold Fields’ Damang and Tarkwa mines, the company is adding an asset in a country where it has operated for over 20 years.

Nick Holland, CEO of Gold Fields, commented: “This joint venture will provide us with additional quality production in a country that we know well, having operated in Ghana for more than 20 years.”

Benefits for Asanko Gold

This joint venture partnership with Gold Fields provides a unique opportunity for Asanko to progress its expansion and project development programme in a timely manner, bringing the Esaase deposit into production in 2019.

Importantly, the Asanko team will continue to operate and manage the AGM, with access to Gold Field’s technical and exploration expertise.

This JV will impact positively on Asanko’s debt structure and free up cash flow for further growth in line with our vision of becoming a mid-tier gold producer.

It is further an endorsement by one of the world’s largest gold producers of the AGM as a quality asset.

Peter Breese, CEO of Asanko, commented: “We will now move forward with our plans to develop the large-scale Esaase deposit and increase gold production, thereby securing a sustainable future for the mine, its employees and all stakeholders.”

The Asanko Gold Mine, predominantly operated and managed by Ghanaians, supports over 200 Ghanaian businesses with the procurement of goods and services.

Two of the mine’s three mining contractors are indigenous Ghanaian mining contractors.

The mine also supports a number of corporate social responsibility projects throughout the country.

“The Asanko Opportunity Cycle,” including the award-winning Obotan Co-operative Credit Union, is bringing access to finance to the mine’s catchment area.

In 2017, the Asanko Gold Mine produced 205,047 ounces, while this year, it’s expecting 200,000-220,000 ounces.