Canadian gold miner Asanko Gold and Gold Fields have secured approval from the Ghanaian Minister of Lands and Natural Resources for their proposed $185m joint venture pertaining to the Asanko Gold Mine in Ghana.
As per the joint venture agreement signed in late March, Gold Fields, a South African gold mining company had agreed to buy 50% stake of Asanko Gold’s 90% stake in the Asanko Gold Mine, associated properties and exploration rights in Ghana (AGM).
The AGM is a multi-deposit complex made up of two primary deposits, namely Nkran and Esaase, along with nine known satellite deposits.
According to Asanko Gold and Gold Fields, the ministerial approval is the principal condition for completion of joint venture transaction, which is anticipated to be completed in early July.
Asanko Gold said that closing of the transaction is subject to certain customary closing documentation and a lender’s consent from Exp T2 (Red Kite). The company expects to secure them in due course prior to the targeted completion time.
Asanko Gold president and CEO said: “I’d like to thank the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources for expediting approval of our Joint Venture transaction with Gold Fields and our in-country advisors, Kimathi and Partners, who have guided us through this approval process.
“Upon conclusion of this Transaction and repayment of the Red Kite debt facility, we will be debt-free and poised to grow our business and expand our production base.”
Following the completion of the joint venture transaction, Asanko Gold and Gold Fields will hold 45% stakes in the Asanko Gold Mine while the remaining 10% stake will be retained by the Ghanaian government. Apart from that, Gold Fields will also own a 9.9% listed stake in Asanko.
Asanko will continue to manage the operations of the Ghanaian gold mine and will remain as its operator. The partners will create a joint venture management committee for monitoring the operation of the mine, with material decisions such as budgets and capital expenditure needing unanimous approval.