05/08/2021 - 10:00

Resolute locks in $122m Bibiani sale

05/08/2021 - 10:00

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Perth-based Resolute Mining has secured a new buyer for its Bibiani asset in Ghana, which has offered to pay $US90 million in cash.

Resolute's core operating assets include the Syama goldmine in Mali. Photo: Resolute Mining

Perth-based Resolute Mining has secured a new buyer for its Bibiani asset in Ghana, which has offered to pay $US90 million ($A122 million) in cash.

The deal, with Canada's Asante Gold Corporation, has already been approved by the Ghanaian government.

Resolute said Toronto-listed Asante would inject the necessary capital to restart operations at Bibiani, which were halted in 2014 to reassess the underground mining potential.

The capital required (including startup costs) is estimated to be $US190 million.

Managing director Stuart Gale – officially appointed to the role in May – said the deal was consistent with Resolute’s strategic focus on its core operating assets, which include the Syama goldmine in Mali.

“Resolute has made a commitment to deliver sustainable and enduring value to shareholders and to the communities in which we operate,” Mr Gale said.

“Resolute is proud of its contribution to Ghana and particularly proud to have the opportunity to transfer ownership in Bibiani to a highly regarded team with strong ties to Ghana.”

He said Resolute didn't expect there to be any material tax implications following the sale.

Asante has already paid a $US30 million deposit for Bibiani and will pay a further $US60 million in two equal installments within the first year of completing the purchase.

It also plans to co-list its shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

“I am confident that Resolute’s positive legacy in Ghana, and the interests of all stakeholders in Bibiani, will be protected and enhanced under Asante’s ownership,” Mr Gale added.

The deal comes about four months after a previous agreement to purchase the Bibiani mine with Shanghai-listed listed Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining was terminated by the Ghanaian government, which said it wouldn’t recognise the sale.

Chifeng had offered to pay $US105 million in cash for the asset.

Once operations resume, the Bibiani mine is expected to produce more than 100,000oz per annum for 10 years.

Asante president and chief executive Douglas MacQuarrie said the company identified the project as a commercial and strategic investment.

“Our investment strategy with respect to Bibiani is to achieve near-term economic returns on a long-life asset,” he said.

Shares in Resolute were up 5.4 per cent at 11:24am AEST to trade at 58 cents.

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