Establishment of Ghana Operation
Goldplat plc, the AIM-traded producer of gold and platinum group metals ('PGM') recovered from by-products of the mining process, is pleased to announce that construction work has now commenced in Ghana on the Group's second gold processing plant, following the completion of the acquisition of a 4.25 acre site in the free zone port of Tema. The expansion represents the next step in the Company's development plans, aimed at building Goldplat into a mid-tier gold producing mining house backed by the revenue generated from processing operations.
The new processing plant will replicate Goldplat's South African processing operation which has contracts with the leading mining companies in the areas of both gold and PGM. It will provide access to raw materials from mines in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cote D'Ivorie, Senegal, the DRC and Mauritania, as well as Ghana itself. The leasehold rights were acquired from the Tema Development Corporation for the cash consideration of USD 200,000 through the Company's wholly owned subsidiary Gold Recovery Ghana Limited ('GRG'). The lease is for an initial period of 60 years with an option to renew for another 20 years. The establishment of the new plant in the free port also brings with it substantial tax benefits.
The Group has made contact with the major gold producing companies in Ghana as well as various smaller gold operations to ensure the project's feasibility. In all cases the by-product material produced from these companies' operations is suitable for the project in Tema. The Group will also be looking to sell scrap metals produced as a by-product in Goldplat's processing circuit with three smelters having already confirmed interest.
The Directors anticipate that the plant in Tema should be able to commence operations by the end of 2006. The first operations will be the cleaning of rubber and steel liners to produce a concentrate for export. The cleaned aluminium and steel will be sold locally. In addition, under existing agreements with local mines, fine activated carbon collected from mines is already being exported for processing to the Company's other wholly owned subsidiary, Goldplat Recovery (Pty) Ltd, in South Africa while the construction of the fluidized bed in Ghana takes place. In this respect GRG has already established its initial turnover.
Goldpalt CEO Demetri Manolis said: 'We are pleased to have secured the site identified for our Ghana operation and to have commenced work on the establishment of our plant there. It is our intention to build an African based gold producing mining group. The establishment of a second processing operation in Ghana means that we will have a foundation that will provide us with significant revenue to finance this growth strategy. A Ghana facility not only complements our South African operation but will also enable us to open further avenues and relationships. We are already assessing a number of interesting acquisitions in the mining area which will help us fulfil our ambitions.'
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