SUDAN – Managem, a Moroccan mining company, has signed a previously announced partnership with the Wanbao Mining Group, for the development of gold extraction projects in Sudan.
According to a press statement from Managem, the mining company has acquired 65% stake in Block 15, also known as the Gabgaba gold mine in Sudan. The Chinese Wanbao will hold the remaining 35% of shares.
In addition, Managem will hold a 35% stake in additional 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 partnership set its goals along three principal axes. The main aim 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 US$250 million (MAD 2.2 billion).
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.
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.”
“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 US$112 million (MAD 1 billion) 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 statement from BMW said.
The Moroccan company’s aim with this project is to boost the country’s mining sector, which currently contributes 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
It also aims to double investment in mining and create 30,000 jobs. This agreement means an increase in annual gold production from approximately 60,000 to 200,000 ounces.
“Today we are giving a new impetus to our growth strategy in Sudan by bringing forward the development of a large-scale gold project targeting 200,000 ounces of production in the medium term,” said Imad Toumi.
In this joint project with Wanbao Mining, Managem continues its expansion in Africa. This also means an increased Moroccan presence in the rest of the African continent, countering the European or Russian presence on the continent.