Marula Mining, an African mining and development company, has announced an investment to acquire stake in the Larisoro Manganese Mine in northern Kenya.

In this regard, the company signed a binding terms sheet with Kenyan operator Gems and Industrial Minerals (GIM) for an initial 60% commercial interest in the Larisoro Manganese Mine, which has been operational since 2012.

The move marks Marula’s foray into Kenya’s mining space.  

Located in Samburu County, Larisoro is a shallow open-pit mine that has produced manganese ore with an average manganese content of 33.41% over the past six years.

The ore is processed to create a product with more than 37% manganese, which has been sold in Asian markets.

Upon signing the terms sheet, Marula paid £300,000 to GIM, satisfied through the issuance of 2.4 million new ordinary shares at 12.5p each.

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The agreement also outlines a £200,000 payment upon signing the Technical Support Agreement and Commercial Agreement, expected in mid-March 2024.

Marula’s investment of $1.5m will fund new equipment to boost the mine’s monthly production to 5,000–10,000 tonnes (t) of high-grade manganese ore.

Additional payments to GIM include £300,000 after the initial exploration programme and £750,000 upon reaching 50,000t of manganese ore sales.

The terms sheet also grants Marula an option to increase its stake in the mine to 70% with a further £1.25m payment to GIM, in cash or shares.

This investment aims to enhance manganese production and strengthen Marula’s position in the market.

Marula CEO Jason Brewer said: “Following a successful site visit we made late 2023, and a very thorough technical assessment and review, we are very confident about this investment in GIM and the Larisoro Manganese Mine.

“With its historical high-grade assays, production history, established operations, existing stockpile of material, and the interest we have already received for offtake and marketing of the planned increased manganese production, we are pleased to proceed with this investment, which we believe is firmly in line with our strategy here in Kenya and East Africa and firmly in the battery metals sector.”