Asanko Gold has completed a $185m joint venture (JV) transaction with South African mining firm Gold Fields for interest in the Asanko gold mine (AGM) and related assets in Ghana.
In March this year, Gold Fields signed an agreement to form an incorporated 50/50 corporate JV that will own Asanko’s 90% interest in AGM and all associated properties in the country.
The mine comprises two main deposits, Nkran and Esaase, and nine satellite deposits.
It is estimated to have average annual production of 253,000oz of gold for the period between 2019 and 2023.
Following the completion of the transaction, Asanko received $165m from Gold Fields.
The company used the proceeds to settle all outstanding principal and accrued interest owing to Red Kite Mine Finance Trust under a definitive senior facilities agreement.
Gold Fields will pay the remaining $20m out of the total consideration on achievement of an agreed Esaase development milestone.
Asanko Gold president and CEO Peter Breese said: “Today marks an important milestone for Asanko as we conclude our JV transaction with Gold Fields and emerge completely debt-free, with a strong partner, a solid long life production base, competitive cost profile, fully funded organic growth and significant exploration potential.
“In anticipation of the closing of the transaction we have already established the various working groups with our new partners to ensure that the AGM continues to operate in an efficient manner.”
The AGM will continue to be managed and operated by Asanko for an annual fee of $6m.
Along with the JV agreement, Gold Fields agreed to buy 22,354,657 common shares of Asanko through a private placement.