Austral Gold Acquires 51 Percent Stake in Chilean Mining Service
Austral Gold, a growing precious metals mining and exploration company, has acquired the controlling stake in Humberto Reyes Arriendo de Maquinarias, an underground mining contract. Humberto Reyes owns mining equipment and associated vehicles with a company value of around $4 million.
The acquisition – done through Austral Gold’s subsidy Guanaco – cost Austral Gold around $2.7 million; $450,000 was paid up front, the remaining balance will be paid in monthly installments over time.
Humberto Reyes has been working on underground contract mining at the site since 2011. There are several benefits for Austral Gold in this acquisition, including important annualised savings for Guanaco.
With many mining companies looking for footing in the South American mining landscape, Chile is a great foot in the door. Some believe that Latin America and Australia are natural partners for innovation in the industry.
A spokesperson for Austral Gold has said that the acquisition “is a strategic investment for [Austral], since it provides flexibility to accelerate mining of the Guanaco mine resource; allows greater control over safety and production practice at the mine; ensures competitive costs for underground development; and gives management greater overall control over the mine’s operations.”
Austral Gold director Stabro Kasaneva further went on to say that “[t]his transaction is a pleasing development for Austral Gold and represents key strategic investment in the further development of our flagship Guanaco project.”
Austral Gold now owns 51 percent in the company. With the current deal also comes the option to acquire the remaining 49 percent of company in two and a half years. A price would be agreed upon at a later date.
AngloGold Ashanti establishes BG Umoja JV in Tanzania
AngloGold Ashanti, in line with it s strategy to ensure a sustainable contribution to the economies of host countries, has established the BG Umoja joint venture (JV), in Tanzania.
Awarded a $186m two-year mining contract for the Nyankanga and Geita Hill underground mining projects, the 80/20 joint venture is a partnership between Africa Underground Mining Services (AUMS) Tanzania, a subsidiary of Australia’s Perenti Group, and local drilling services and mining- supply company, Geofields Tanzania Limited.
The partnership is modelled on a similar underground mining joint venture at the Company’s Obuasi Redevelopment Project in Ghana between AUMS Ghana and Accra-based, wholly Ghanaian-owned Rocksure and will help build local specialised mining capacity.
“We’re working with our experienced mining contractors to assist in establishing local joint ventures for long-term transfer of sustainable skills, and to continue building on our sustainable local procurement programmes,” commented Sicelo Ntuli, AngloGold Ashanti’s Chief Operating Officer: Africa.
“AngloGold Ashanti is building sustainable local procurement programmes that will allow it to stimulate economic and social development at all of its operations, evidenced by the significant contribution Geita has made to the fiscus and people of Tanzania.”
AngloGold Ashanti’s annual expenditure with indigenous Tanzanian suppliers has almost tripled to $162mn since 2016. The company’s local team in Tanzania has set itself an ambitious target of 60% to 70% of all expenditures with indigenous Tanzanian companies, by 2025.
Scope 3 Emissions
In addition, AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita Gold Mine has awarded a two-year fuel transportation contract, worth approximately $10.8m a year, to two local contractors - one of which is originally from Geita. This is in line with the mine’s commitment to contribute to the economies of host communities. The Geita-based company was part of Geita Mine’s supply chain capacity building initiative for host community suppliers, a partnership between the Mine and the National Economic Empowerment Council.
To influence Scope 3 emissions, trucks are to be compliant with EURO IV emissions standards, tankers are to be made of an aluminium alloy material to reduce weight and the age of the fleet will be maintained at less than six years.
Diversity & Inclusion
The contractors already employ women fuel tanker drivers, fulfilling the Mine’s requirements for diversity and inclusion. The two contractors both own workshop facilities in Geita town and participate in social initiatives aimed at uplifting the lives of host community residents.
AngloGold Ashanti has been operating at Geita Gold Mine for more than 20 years, with the project initially a single pit mine, evolving now to a predominantly underground operation, employing 5,700 employees and contractors.
Earlier this year, the Government of Tanzania recognized AngloGold Ashanti’s contribution to the economy of the country, awarding it for its outstanding performance in a number of areas, including environmental and safety performance, corporate social investment, the best taxpayer in the mining sector, the runners up in local business content and overall best performer in the mining sector in Tanzania in 2019/2020.
Geita Gold Mine
Geita, one of AngloGold Ashanti’s flagship mines, is located in north-western Tanzania in the Lake Victoria goldfields of Mwanza region, about 120km from Mwanza and 4km west of the town of Geita. It has been in operation as a large-scale mine since 2000.