the magazine of natural resources in Africa
The Australian junior FAR announced on 24 June to the authorities of the Sydney Stock Exchange, where it is listed, that it was defaulting on its financial commitments on the Senegalese offshore oil project of Sangomar, in which it is a 15% shareholder, alongside its compatriot Woodside (35%), the Scottish company Cairn Energy (40%) and the Senegalese public agency Petrosen (10%). According to the press release, the default follows a call for funds issued in May 2020 by Woodside for the month of June 2020 and a delay in the payment of 100 million dollars of FAR, which had one month to settle this call for funds, in accordance with its obligations. The company has six months to pay its debts. Beyond that period, FAR will be forced to relinquish its participation in the project without compensation.
Stake: for Harmony Gold, the call to the market allows it to complete its financial round. Officially announced in February, Harmony Gold’s acquisition of AngloGold’s last South African gold assets for $300 million was to be partly financed by raising funds on the markets. This has now been done. In
Faced with the fall in gas prices during this period of crisis, and persistent rumours of a postponement of its investment plans in Senegal, Australian Woodside recalled on 23 June that its flagship Sangomar project will get off to a good start in 2023, as planned. The announcement sounds like a clarification, as some analysts recently indicated that the well is unlikely to come on stream before 2025, due to the impact of the coronavirus on the sector. « Together with our partners, we are working with the project contractors and the government of the Republic of Senegal to optimize expenditures in the short term while protecting the overall value of the investment and deliver the first oil in 2023, » the firm’s management said in its press release.
Weary of the problematic security situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Canadian gold group Banro announced on Tuesday 23 June the forthcoming sale of its Namoya mine to a consortium of investors including the Chinese operator Baiyin International Investment. Earlier, in February, Banro had in fact confirmed its intention to sell the Namoya mining complex – if necessary at a substantial discount – after repeated attacks by local Congolese militias forced the company to suspend operations at several of its sites, all located in the east of the country. Although the amount of the transaction was not disclosed, the Canadian group said it will receive a royalty for all future gold production from the Namoya site. However, the agreement is still subject to final approval by the Congolese government.
Stake : securing a reliable supply of cobalt to support the development of electric cars. The Congolese cobalt industry could soon be relaunched thanks to the increased needs of the American car manufacturer Tesla, whose operations at the Mutanda mine have been suspended at the end of 2019. The group,
In this op-ed piece, Pedro de Vasconcelos, Head of the Financing Facility for Remittances at the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD, discusses the global consequences of the sharp decline in migrant remittances – and possible levers for action – in the wake of the economic crisis caused by
The American oil company ConocoPhillips, through its subsidiary Conocophillips Morocco Ventures (CMV), has just been awarded an offshore exploration perimeter in the Mesorif region (north of the country) by the Moroccan Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), an area that has already been the subject of several hydrocarbon discoveries. The information was made public on 12 May by ONHYM, which welcomed, in its press release, that « this signature marks a new entry of ConocoPhillips in the Cherifian Kingdom since the merger of Conoco and Phillips in 2001 ». The Cherifian public institution also specified that the exploration permit will cover a period of two years, with CMV having to carry out geological and geophysical studies during the first year and the acquisition of 2D data during the second year.
Ghana’s cocoa industry (850,000 tonnes per year), the world’s second largest producer behind its neighbour Côte d’Ivoire, is going through a difficult financial period. According to indiscretions reported by the financial information agency Bloomberg, Cocobod, the Ghanaian regulatory authority of the sector, has multiplied the unpaid amounts in recent weeks from companies approved to purchase cocoa, which deliver the beans after collection from the producers. According to sources quoted by the American media, these debts are estimated to reach cumulative arrears of nearly 1.2 billion cedis (210 million dollars). This was due to the fall in cocoa prices and the disruption of global supply chains in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, which severely affected the regulator of the Ghanaian cocoa sector. Contacted by Bloomberg, the Cocobod’s management, however, was reassuring, explaining that « sales are being normalized » and that all debts will be paid « in the coming weeks ». To be continued…
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved the financing of three new projects in Guinea, notably in the areas of green energy and support to the competitiveness of the honey value chain, it was learnt on Thursday, 11 June. With regard to the renewable energy component, the development programme for mini-green networks in Guinea will in particular support the Guinean Rural Electrification Agency (AGER) in the implementation of 57 mini-green network projects in the country. As for support for the Guinean honey sector, the project to support the competitiveness of this value chain aims to increase the incomes of its actors, particularly women. A total of nearly US$ 3.2 million in new financing will be provided, bringing the total amount of AfDB-financed projects in the country to US$ 556 million.
Stake : For the solar start-up Sun Exchange to secure long-term funds for its future African projects. South African start-up Sun Exchange, which specialises in raising funds for solar energy projects, announced the closing of its Series A financing round with an additional $3 million from the Africa Renewable Power
As recently announced in our columns, the basic agreement for the exploitation of Blocks 1 and 2 of Mount Simandou by the Guinean-Chinese consortium Société minière de Boké (SMB-Winning) was officially signed on Tuesday June 9 by the Minister of Mines, Abdoulaye Magassouba, who referred to « an important step in the development of the Guinean mining sector ». The agreement, which should concretely result in the start of the largest industrial mining project of the country, notably includes the construction of a 650 km railway line and a deep-water port. The total cost of the project is estimated at $14 billion and is expected to generate $15 billion in cumulative revenues for Guinea over its 25-year life.
Considered as one of the priorities of the National Development Plan, Togo’s agricultural sector can already congratulate itself on its first symbolic victory: according to the latest figures published by the European Commission, in 2019 Togo became the leading exporter of organic agricultural products from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the European Union (EU) and the second largest on the continent, after Egypt. Better still, the small West African country (56,000 km2 for 8.6 million inhabitants) saw its volumes shipped to the EU more than double (+102%) between 2018 and 2019, with its exports of organic agricultural products to this destination rising from 22,000 tonnes to nearly 45,000 tonnes over the period.