Morocco, China Move to Mine Gold in Sudan

Moroccan mining company, Managem, has signed a announced a partnership with the Wanbao Mining Group, for the development of gold extraction projects in Sudan.

A Managem statement notes that the mining company has acquired 65% stake in Block 15, also known as the Gabgaba gold mine in Sudan. And Chinese firm, Wanbao will hold the remaining 35% of shares.

Managem will also hold an additional 35% stake in six exploration blocks currently owned by Wanbao Mining. The new partnership gives Managem and Wanbao rights for extraction, exploration, as well as the expansion of Block 15.

The principal focus of the partnership is the expansion of the Gabgaba mine, predicting an increase of annual gold production from 60,000 to 200,000 ounces. The estimated costs of the expansion are approximately $250 million or 2.2 billion Morocco Dirham.

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The Wanbao Mining Group will provide support for securing up to 70% of the necessary funding for the expansion project. Furthermore, the two partners have commissioned a feasibility study to confirm the viability to extend Gabgaba over the next three years.

Further Exploration

The two mining companies also seek to develop new projects through already granted exploration permits. Through the partnership, the two companies hope to capitalize on high potential exploration and to develop an additional gold mine within the next three years. The projects would be held jointly, on a 50/50 basis.

The final aim of the project is to develop cooperation and to increase their joint presence in Sudan. The partnership will secure future growth opportunities in gold production “in a country with unparalleled and untouched potential.”

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“I am convinced that this new strategic cooperation, based on trust and mutual respect, will have a positive impact on our respective entities,” said Imad Toumi, the president and CEO of Managem.

The Moroccan company has been involved in precious metal and mineral exploration and extraction across Africa. Besides Sudan, Managem currently has projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea, and Morocco.

In July 2020, the German automobile company BMW announced the signing of a €100 million (1 billion Morocco Dirham) cobalt supply contract with the Managem Group. BMW group will cover about a fifth of its cobalt needs for the manufacture of fifth-generation battery cells through the deal, a BMW statement read.

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