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Investors applaud Semafo takeover deal

Semafo’s Mana mine in Burkina Faso – (Image: Semafo Inc)

Shares of Semafo Inc (TSE:SMF) added more than 3% on Friday, after its takeover of Australia’s Orbis Gold (ASX:OBS) became a done deal.

More than 96% of Orbis shares have been tendered to the Montreal-based company triggering a compulsory roll-up to complete the transaction. Semafo offered A$0.713 cash (upping an earlier offer of 65c) per Orbis shares valuing the deal at US$139 million.

Semafo, now worth $1.1 billion on the Toronto Stock Exchange currently operates the Mana Mine (2015 production guidance: 245,000 – 275,000 ounces) in Burkina Faso and the Orbis acquisition brings with it three gold projects in the West African country.

Orbis’ flagship Natougou project is located about 600 kilometres east of Mana and boasts a high grade deposit containing 18 Mt @ 3.4g/t Au for 2 million ounces.

According to an October scoping study Natougou has the potential for development of a large-scale low-cost open pit mine producing up to 213,000 of gold per annum (more than 700,000 in year one and two) at an all-in cost of $619 an ounce.

Capex for the Natougo project is put at $234 million and a definitive feasibility study is scheduled for completion mid-2015 and possible start-up early in 2018. Orbis’ Nabanga project is one of the highest grade projects in Burkina Faso in the face of stiff competition in the region: historical inferred resources of 3.2 million tonnes @ 6.5 g/t Au for 660,000 ounces of contained gold.

It’s been a busy couple of months for Semafo. Last week the company announced its 2014 reserve and resource statement that upped Mana’s total mineral reserves and resources by 250,000 ounces and its reserve grade by 7% to 3.01 g/t Au.

The Siou deposit at Mana proven and probable reserves increased by 27% to 980,000 ounces by year-end 2014, net of 97,200 ounces from mined depletion in the year. As a result of recent definition drilling, the Fofina deposit attained 2,443,200 tonnes at an average grade of 2.62 g/t Au for a total of 205,700 ounces in proven and probable reserves as at December 31, 2014, net of 88,100 ounces from mined depletion in 2014.

Burkina Faso is the continent’s fourth largest gold producer after Mali and has commissioned eight new mines over the past six years.