Citigate Commodities Trading of Dubai said on Tuesday it would expand its portfolio in West Africa by acquiring mining assets in Guinea and Liberia from London-listed Stellar Diamonds.
Through its subsidiary Safa Afrique, Citigate will have the right to earn a 75 per cent interest in Guinea’s Baoulé mine and up to 85 per cent in the exploration licences in Liberia once funding obligations have been met.
“Adding the Guinean and Liberian mines to Citigate’s portfolio gives us substantial leverage in the GCC by securing addition assets in two of West Africa’s most prolific diamond producing nations,” said Tohib Iyiola, founder and chief executive of Citigate. “With one mining project already in production, Citigate is working to rapidly expand its portfolio of projects for its West African diamond operator, SafaAfrique, in order for it to develop and flourish.”
The Dubai Company will invest $3.65 million in the first two phases of the Baoulé project, estimated to hold about 3 million carats of diamonds. So far more than 11,000 carats have been found, totaling over US$1 million in gross revenue, with the largest diamond weighing 55 carats. And based on assessments carried out by Stellar in June, the potential is another 6,600 carats – which at previous sales of $156 per carat could result in another $1m in sales.
In Liberia, the two recently awarded exploration licences will involve Citigate investing in excess of $6m.
“These joint ventures allow the key management of Stellar to focus efforts on the development of our high-grade Tongo project in Sierra Leone as we progress towards the mining phase, while retaining equity positions in both the Baoulé and Liberia projects,” said Karl Smithson, chief executive of Stellar.
Culled from the National Business