Russia’s Nordgold injects another $70m into Guinea mine

Russian miner Nordgold (LON:NORD) invested $70 million last year in its Guinea-based gold mine, $22 million more than the total allocated in 2017, the company said on Monday.

Nordgold, which spun off of Russian steelmaker Severstal in 2012, said the funds allowed it to both, extend Lefa mine’s life and improve efficiencies at the operation.

The gold producer, which acquired the mine in 2010, said it since has invested almost $1 billion in the West Africa’s nation. Additionally, Nordgold has paid $180 million in corporate taxes and royalties from 2011 to 2018.

Nordgold acquired the Lefa mine in 2010 and has already invested roughly $1 billion in Guinea.

“We remain committed to Guinea and to driving performance at the Lefa mine,” the operation’s acting manager, Alejandro Rodriguez, said in the statement. “This intensive investment programme will put us in the best position to maximise the value of this major asset.”

This year, Nordgold estimates it would increase its investment in Lefa by 15% to about $80 million.

Lefa is one of the largest gold mines in Guinea, employing almost 1,200 people directly, as well providing over 800 indirect jobs.

The operation has invested significantly to improve the provision of local health and education services, including support in the fight against Ebola, as well as the creation of new medical facilities and some 40 schools.

Nordgold, which acquired many of its major assets during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, also operates in Russia, Kazakhstan and Burkina Faso.

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Paris to decide fate of Russia-Canada gold mine in French Guiana

France’s environment minister François de Rugy, is expected to announce in June the government’s official position on a proposed open-pit gold mine and a precious metal industry in French Guiana, potentially the department’s largest, which has locals divided.

The Montagne d’Or gold project, a joint venture between Russian billionaire Alexey Mordashov’s mining company, Nordgold, and Canadian junior Columbus Gold (TSX: CGT), was originally planned over an 800-hectare site between two protected natural reserves.

France’s environment minister François de Rugy, is expected to announce in June the government’s official position on the Montagne d’Or gold project, as well as on boosting a precious metal industry in French Guiana.

But after complains from opponents to the mine, worried mainly about pollution and biodiversity loss, the French government formed a special committee to evaluate in detail the social and economic benefits, as well as the impacts of a gold mining industry in the French department, wedged between Brazil and Suriname.

In November, Paris decided the companies could move forward with permitting and development of the mine, but under certain conditions that would minimize the operation’s risks and impacts.

While the recommendations have not yet been released to the public, Columbus Gold said Tuesday that France’s Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said Paris was “deeply convinced” it was possible to develop the resources on Guyanese soil “in the best conditions on the environmental level” and with the agreement of the Guyanese.

The Vancouver-based miner also said the French government would soon appoint an official in charge of Guiana’s gold industry and is planning to send environment minister François de Rugy to announce Emmanuel Macron’s administration view on backing a gold industry in French Guiana.

The Montagne d’Or deposit has an estimated 3.85 million ounces of gold in 85.1 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 1.41 grams gold per tonne, and another 960,000 ounces. gold contained within 20.2 million inferred tonnes grading 1.48 grams gold.

Based on the bankable feasibility study of 2017, the open-pit mine would produce 214,000 ounces of gold a year at total cash costs of $666 per ounce.

Despite 90% of French Guiana is covered by rainforest, it has attracted artisanal mining of its gold-rich soil for more than 150 years.

In the last decade, however, multinationals have started landing on the area, hoping to tap into deeper, untouched gold reserves.

Shares in Columbus Gold jumped almost 3% on the news and were last trading at 18 Canadian cents in Toronto.

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Russia’s Nordgold to invest over $360m in Guinea mine by 2034

Russian miner Nordgold (LON:NORD) has received a fresh 15-year mining permit for its Lefa mine in Guinea, where it intends to invest more than $360 million to continue developing it the asset, one of the country’s largest gold producing mines.

The new licence, effective from March 21, is valid until 2034, in line with Lefa’s current life-of-mine.

Nordgold, which spun off of Russian steelmaker Severstal in 2012, acquired the mine in 2010 and has already invested over $1 billion in Guinea, according to the statement.

Nordgold acquired the Lefa mine in 2010 and has already invested over $1 billion in Guinea.

Lefa is one of the largest gold mines in Guinea, employing around 1,200 people and providing over 730 indirect jobs.

The operation, said Nordgold, has contributed almost $12 million to empowering the local communities and it intends to continue doing so, with the aim of improving people’s living conditions for the life-of-mine and beyond.

In 2017, the Lefa’s production increased 7%, churning out a total of 208,800 ounces. Overall, the company produced 968,300 ounces gold from its nine operating mines, earning revenues of $1.22 billion.

Nordgold, which collected many of its major assets during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, also operates in Russia, Kazakhstan and Burkina Faso.

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