Asante Gold completes $90 million Bibiani mine buy

Bibiani gold mine is in Ghana’s western region. (Image courtesy of Asante Gold.)

Canada’s Asante Gold (TSX-V: ASE) has completed the acquisition of Australia’s Resolute Mining (ASX, LON: RSG) Bibiani Gold mine in Ghana. 

The Vancouver-based company said it had paid Resolute an initial $30 million in cash, which will be followed by another $30 million on or before six months from the transaction close. The final $30 million will be paid on or before a year from completion. 

Asante’s president and CEO, Douglas MacQuarrie, said the company was now finalizing setting up the team in charge of bringing Bibiani back to production, adding it would update the market once those plans are completed. 

Bibiani has the potential to generate about 100,000 ounces of gold per year over a ten-year mine life

Resolute had inked a $105 million sales deal in December with China’s Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining, which fell flat after Ghana suddenly cancelled the mining lease, ordering Resolute to halt operations.  

Chifeng walked away, even though the lease was subsequently restored, saying it had not received timely information about the termination.  

The deal would have marked the Chinese miner’s second overseas acquisition, after it bought a 90% stake in the Sepon gold and copper mine in Laos in 2018.  

Resolute’s deal with Asante was approved by Ghana’s minister of lands and natural resources previous to the announcement of the deal earlier this month

The Bibiani sale reduces the Western Australia-based miner’s portfolio to two assets — Syama in Mali and Mako in Senegal.  

Waiting to resume operations

Resolute acquired Bibiani in 2014 but placed it on care and maintenance shortly after that to allow exploration activities and develop the mine into a large-scale operation. 

The asset has mining and processing infrastructure and past production of about 4 million ounces of gold. 

Based on an updated feasibility study released by Resolute in July 2018, Bibiani has the potential to generate about 100,000 ounces of gold per year over a ten-year mine life at a life-of-mine all-in sustaining cost of $764 per ounce. 

It also published a current JORC compliant mineral resource of 21.7 million tonnes grading 3.6 grams gold per tonne for 2.5 million ounces of contained gold. 

Asante has strong ties to Ghana, with Ghanaian citizens holding a significant shareholding, as well as board and executive roles. 

The company has also announced plans to co-list its shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange.