Shanta Gold, the London Stock Exchange-listed gold miner with interests in southern Tanzania has announced plans to take over the gold prospecting activities in Kenya, formerly held by Barrick Gold.
The East Africa-focused gold producer announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which it will purchase 100% of the shares of Barrick’s subsidiary Acacia Exploration (Kenya) Ltd. from two subsidiaries of Barrick Gold Corporation.
The West Kenya license holds about 1.18 million ounces of gold with a grade of 12.6 grams per tonne (g/t believed to be one of the highest grading +1 Moz gold deposits in Africa. The project covers 1,161 sq km within the Lake Victoria greenstone gold field located in NW Tanzania and SW Kenya and home to Global Tier 1 assets including North Mara and Geita Gold Mine.
Eric Zurrin, Chief Executive Officer noted the acquisition of the Western Kenya project solidifies the presence of the company in the region which has successfully operated in East Africa for nearly 20 years and this acquisition is a natural extension in terms of geographic footprint, skillset, size and mining method.
“The West Kenya acquisition is significant for Shanta Gold, creating an East African gold mining champion with realizable growth prospects and high asset quality across three attractive gold projects.”
Zurrin added, “One of Shanta’s competitive advantages is being able to operate Long Hole Open Stoping operations more efficiently than its peers which lends itself well to the advancement of the West Kenya Project.”
This purchase has raised hopes and projections of Kenya reaping massive revenue from gold sales in the western part of Kenya, adding to the oil and gas prospects. The Project lies within western Kenya, 350km northwest of Nairobi and 25km northwest of Kisumu, on the edge of Lake Victoria. The West Kenya Project straddles the Kakamega, Kisumu, Siaya and Vihiga Counties and comprises a total of 7 Prospecting Licences covering 1,161 sq km.
Approximately US$55 m invested in exploration activities across West Kenya since 2010 by Acacia Mining Plc and previous owners. Exploration drilling of 221,000 metres, approximately 80,000 soil samples, and regional IP has identified attractive exploration targets.
Acacia joined the Kenyan market in 2012 after acquiring Aviva Mining Kenya Ltd. It acquired 51 percent interest in a joint venture with Lonmin Plc, and Aviva’s right to earn an initial 75 percent interest in a joint venture with Advance Gold Corporation. In 2016, Acacia acquired the remaining 49 percent of the Lonmin joint venture from a subsidiary of Lonmin for $5 million.
The purchase ensures that Shanta expands its operating presence in East Africa with a diversified portfolio of
exceptional assets delivering long term growth. It also provides the miner with an established Centre of Excellence at the New Luika Gold Mine will advance the West Kenya Project and complement the project team based in Kisumu, Kenya.
Shanta Gold is an East Africa-focused gold producer, developer, and explorer. It currently has defined ore resources on the New Luika project in Tanzania and holds exploration licenses covering approximately 1,500km2
in the country. Shanta’s flagship New Luika Gold Mine commenced production in 2012 and produced 84,506 oz in 2019. The Company has been admitted to trading on London’s AIM and has approximately 794 m shares in issue.