Turkish conglomerate takes 55% of Aureus Mining

757z468_gold_bars,_sized{The Proactive Investors} – Liberia-based gold miner Aureus Mining Inc (LON:AUE) is to hand majority control to Turkish conglomerate MNG through a US$30mln share subscription.

Current chief executive David Reading will stand down, with a new management team from MNG appointed comprising Serhan Umurhan as chief executive and Geoff Eyre as chief financial officer.

Aureus built the New Liberty mine in Liberia but commissioning delays meant commercial production was declared behind schedule in March and a tailings leak subsequently has seen processing shut down since May.

Because of these delays, Aureus has been short of cash and in talks with its lenders over a debt rescheduling.

The money from MNG will allow New Liberty to resume production, expected this month, and pay off creditors.

The US$30m equity investment will be at 3.21p per share, a 22% premium to the share price yesterday.

Aureus’s lenders have approved the deal and also granted the miner a four month repayment and default waiver.

MNG Gold has exploration, development and production assets in Turkey, Burkina Faso and Liberia and is owned by Mehmet Nazif Gűnal, who will join the Aureus board as non-executive chairman.

MNG also has interests in construction and contracting, tourism, freight, finance and energy.

David Netherway, Aureus’s chairman said the operational issues and plant suspension had added to the financial pressures faced by the company.

“MNG Gold has strong financial backing, operational experience and is an existing operator in Liberia. This transaction will recapitalise the company and places it in a much stronger position to move forward,” he said.

Serhan Umurhan, who is general manager of MNG Gold, added: “New Liberty is an attractive opportunity to add high quality ounces to our West African mining portfolio.

“We see significant growth potential for New Liberty, supported by our strong financial position, global mining expertise and synergies with our other Liberian operation.

 MNG Gold owns the Youga gold mine in Burkina Faso, the Kokoya gold project  in Liberia and exploration assets. READ MORE OF THIS STORY

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About Cholo Brooks 16924 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.