[VIDEO] Impact of David Mimran becoming primary stakeholder in Canada's Teranga Gold
Millionaire David Mimran, CEO of his familys Mimran Group, has become the primary stakeholder in Canadas Teranga Gold after the two sides completed a...
Millionaire David Mimran, CEO of his family’s Mimran Group, has become the primary stakeholder in Canada’s Teranga Gold after the two sides completed a C$22.7 million private placement.
The Mimran Group is the largest private sector employer in Senegal, which is the same location of Teranga’s Sabodala open-pit gold mine. The site has been producing precious metals since 2009, and is the nation’s largest commercial gold mine and mill.
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Teranga intends to use the funds to strengthen its balance sheet as well as complete its strategy for long-term growth. The miner has produced returns of 18 percent this year after an 11 percent drop in the benchmark gold miners index.
"I am truly delighted to welcome David Mimran as a cornerstone investor of Teranga, and as a director, where he will combine his tremendous strategic and operating knowledge and experience in Senegal and West Africa with our own," said Alan R. Hill, Chairman of Teranga. "The Mimran family's commitment to Senegal runs deep and they are highly respected in the country. David's strategic investment in Teranga supports the acceleration of our longer-term growth strategy beyond our current life-of-mine plan."
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In addition to his focus on Mimran Group, which is a big player in the banking, industrial, shipping and real estate industries, Mimran is also a Hollywood movie producer.
Mimran initially approached Teranga in an attempt to gain technical assistance after obtaining a license to operate as a miner in the African country of Ivory Coast. He now has a 9.9 percent stake in the Canadian gold miner.
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In a press release, Mimran said he was impressed with Teranga’s “track record of operating and financial discipline, its high-caliber management team and its position as the only large-scale commercial gold producer in Senegal.”
Having Mimran working with Teranga will likely open up even more opportunities for Mimran Group in West Africa. Mimran has worked on the board of several major companies in the region, such as Compagnie Bancaire d’Afrique de I’Ouest (C.B.A.O.), which is a private retail and commercial banking group in Senegal.
British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars
The British demand for lithium is set to reach 75,000 tonnes by 2035 as the government works towards their ban on the sale of high-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles within the UK. This comes as automakers worldwide continue to insist on the benefits electric vehicles will have on slowing the rate of climate change.
It is estimated that the UK will require 50,000-60,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year by 2035 for battery production to satisfy government needs. This is assuming production remains at 1.2 million vehicles per year, and the amount of lithium required does not increase.
British Lithium, which hopes to begin constructing a quarry to produce 20,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year in a $400 million investment, are not without competitors, both within the UK and abroad.
Competition For Lithium Rises In Europe
After only five years after its initial launch, Cornish Lithium is setting its sights on becoming a UK powerhouse in mining lithium, aiming to begin commercial production in under four years. Jeremy Wrathall, a former investment banker and current managing director of Cornish Lithium, had the future in mind when founding the company.
“In 2016, I started to think about the electric vehicle revolution and what that would mean for metal demand, and I started to think about lithium,” he said in an interview with AFP. “A friend of mine mentioned lithium being identified in Cornwall, and I just wondered if that was a sort of unrecognised thing in the UK.”
Lithium was first discovered in Cornwall around 1864 and has not been mined again since 1914 when it was produced as an ingredient in fireworks. Now, however, Cornish Lithium is reportedly in the testing stage to see if the metal can be produced commercially to meet the growing demand required for the electric car sector.
Despite Cornwall’s close historic ties to mining lithium, Wrathall insists that the project is purely commercial.
Cornish Mining Revival For Lithium Production
“It’s not a mission that drives me to the point of being emotional or romantic,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we do get this technology otherwise Europe has got no lithium supply.”
The European Commission has also stated their goal to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to aid the environment. That being said, the majority of lithium extraction currently relies on power provided by environmentally damaging fossil fuels─a slight contradiction.
Alex Keynes, from the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment, is adamant that mining for lithium should be done sustainably.
“Our view is that medium-to-long term, the majority of materials including lithium should come from efficient and clean recycling.
“Europe from a strategic point of view should be looking at securing its own supply of lithium.”
Despite growing competition from abroad, British Lithium Chairman, Roderick Smith, continues to place importance on the mining of lithium within the UK.
“Imagine what the UK economy would look like if we lost our automotive industry,” Smith says. “The stakes are high for the UK.”
Smith expects the UK to compete with other European countries to secure a lithium battery plant in the near future.