Mali Lithium Limited (ASX:MLL) has signed an agreement to acquire an 80% interest in the Morila Gold Mine in south-west Mali from Barrick Gold Corporation and AngloGold Ashanti.
Executive Chairman, Dr Alistair Cowden, said Morila is a world class asset that has produced in excess of 7.4 million ounces of gold over 20 years from a 4.5 million tonne per annum plant
“Morila is one of West Africa’s great gold mines and we are excited and privileged to acquire a mine of Morila’s calibre with its past production plus Mineral Resources (gold endowment) of 8.7 million ounces of gold.
“This is truly a transformative transaction for the company as we become a gold producer.
“We have a unique advantage as the newest gold producer on ASX as Morila has all the infrastructure required of an operating remote gold mine as well as the expertise of the operating team.
“We will benefit from the substantial sunk capital invested by the previous owners over the last twenty years.”
Dr Cowden said the company plans to use the cashflow from the current tailings retreatment at Morila to ramp up the operations through recommencing open pit mining as soon as practicable.
“We are already working on defining larger Resources and Reserves that may support a long mine life at higher rates of gold production through a restart of mining.
“It is a truism that the best place to find gold is in the shadow of the headframe and Morila has immediate upside without the need for drilling by modelling existing data; in addition, the depth and lateral extensions to this monster mine are not well understood.
“As we learn about the deposit, it is our intention to aggressively invest in drilling with the aim of building a large resource base to support a long mine life.
“Our current intention is that all employees at the mine will retained and it is our hope that we can support the local community through additional employment opportunities as operations scale up.
“We have a second world class asset in the Goulamina Lithium Project (Goulamina), however, Morila and Goulamina will benefit from a sharp individual focus. We will soon complete the Definitive Feasibility Study for Goulamina and then we will undertake a strategic review to investigate the optimum path to maximise the value of Goulamina for shareholders.”
The company has executed a binding agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Morila Limited, a Jersey registered company from Barrick and AngloGold. Jersey Co holds the AngloGold and Barrick 80% interest in Morila SA (Barrick and AngloGold each hold 50% interst in Jersey Co).
The consideration payable is estimated to be between US$22 and US$27 million. The company is required to pay a non-refundable deposit of US$1 million prior to 20th September, this will be offset against the final consideration payable.
A condition precedent to closing the transaction is securing acquisition finance.