The Mensin Gold Bibiani Mines has introduced Chifeng as New Owner to the Sefwi Anhwiaso Traditional Council, subject to the approval of the Government of Ghana.
Following the announcement by Resolute Mining Limited at both the Australian and London Stock Exchanges on the sale of the Bibiani Mine to Chifeng on 15 December 2020, Mensin Bibiani Mines announced for the information their stakeholders that it has introduced Chifeng as the new owner of the Mine to the President, Chiefs and people of the Sefwi Anhwiaso Traditional Council at a ceremony organised by the Traditional Council.
In a statement signed by the Community and Legal Relations Officer, Emmanuel Aidoo, Esq, he intimated, the Company made this introduction on the same day Chifeng was introduced to the entire staff of Mensin Gold Bibiani Mines. In attendance for the introduction of Chifeng to the Mensin staff and at the Palace were executive leadership of Resolute Mining Limited led by Mr. Stuart Gale, the interim CEO/Managing Director, Chifeng executive leadership led by Mr. Tony Li, the Executive President, as well as Directors and Management of Mensin.
The introduction, explains was done in fulfilment of community entry customary requirement and also to outline the track record of Chifeng in mining operations to the Chiefs and people of the Traditional Council. Prior to the introduction of Chifeng to the Staff of Mensin and the Sefwi Anhwiaso Traditional Council, the new owner (Chifeng) was introduced to the heads and officials of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency whereupon Chifeng made clearly defined presentations on its vision and approach for the Bibiani Mine into the future.
Mensin Gold Bibiani
While the Resolute Mining Limited (“Resolute”) was assiduously working to complete the strategic review of Mensin, as of 15 October 2020, Mensin (with support from Resolute) transitioned from Care and Maintenance to Redevelopment stage pursuant to the submission of the Form 11 to the Minerals Commission as required per section 23(1) of the Minerals and Mining (Health, Safety and Technical) Regulation, 2012 (L.I. 2182) in line with the Project Execution Plan timelines presented to the Minerals Commission in September 2020.
Thereafter, the Company (with Resolute) proceeded on track with activities in the Project Execution Plan including the extension of an 11kV powerline to the Strauss Pit for the re-establishment of services for the Greg Hunter Decline, dewatering of the Strauss Pit to expose the Greg Hunter Portal which is currently 9m below water, dewatering of the decline, initiated processes of recruiting key management and technical staff and commenced camp renovations.
The Chairman of Mensin, Mr. Kwame Ofosuhene Apenteng, who led the entire delegation to the Palace of the Paramount Chief of the Sefwi Anhwiaso Traditional Area in his initial remarks to the Traditional Council and other community members gathered said that Resolute and Mensin had worked very hard to identify a competent operator for the Mine. He said “this investor has the required expertise, financial wherewithal and a clearly defined community support commitment and programme for the Bibiani Mine and the Communities-of-Interest”. Mr. Apenteng took the opportunity to particularly recognise and thank Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II for his enormous and unflinching support for Resolute and Mensin from 2014 to date especially for making time to be part of most of the meetings with government agencies to secure the required investment for the Mine. He also thanked the Chiefs for supporting Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II to provide exemplary leadership in getting the Bibiani Mine revived. He then appealed for the same support from the Chiefs for Chifeng while Resolute finalises the transaction with the Government of Ghana so to commence the plan to create a shared value for Bibiani people, Government of Ghana and the Shareholders who are making this all-important investment in the Bibiani Mine.
Resolute Mining Limited
The interim CEO and Managing Director of Resolute, Mr. Stuart Gale who led the Resolute team from Perth, acknowledged and recognised the support and commitment of the Sefwi Anhwiaso Traditional Council to get the Bibiani Mine redeveloped for production, especially the all-embracing efforts by Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II. He further thanked the diligent staff of Mensin led by Mr. Dean Bertram, the Managing Director and Mr. Kwame Ofosuhene Apenteng, MGBL Chairman, for the updated feasibility results in 2018 which has redefined the mine life for over 11 years and also for keeping the asset in shape and form to commence redevelopment.
Mr. Gale told the Traditional Council that Resolute critically assessed a number of potential investors for Bibiani and finally settled on Chifeng because of its track record in mining in China and Laos, its expertise in underground mining, its strong financial resources and definitive commitment/programme to supporting the Communities-of-Interest. He continued that having listened to the comments, questions and contributions by the Chiefs and people here assembled, he is confident that Chifeng will deliver to the benefit of all interested parties.
He provided that Chifeng is an international gold mining company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of over US$4.3 billion. Chifeng operates five assets (mines) including the world class Sepon gold mine in Laos. In 2018, Chifeng acquired Sepon before undertaking significant capital expenditure to redevelop the gold processing facility in order to double its future gold production.
He finally thanked the Ghanaian people for the love and support showed to Resolute for its continuous investment in Ghana and again respectfully appealed to the Chiefs and all stakeholders to support Chifeng to execute the project’s plan for the benefit of all especially the Communities-of-Interest, the Shareholders and the Government.
The Executive President of Chifeng, Mr. Tony Li, expressed his appreciation to the Chiefs for the warm reception that they have given to him and his team as Chifeng makes its first investment in Africa in Bibiani. He further thanked Resolute and Mensin for the transactional cooperation that ensued between all the parties which has resulted into Chifeng acquiring the Bibiani Mine.
He assured the Chiefs that Chifeng has very high safety and environmental standards and ensures strict compliance by all without any discrimination. On employment and staff welfare, he assured that the “employment relationship currently at Mensin will not be affected by this transaction and that Chifeng is an international business which operates in accordance with applicable laws and international best practices”. He therefore appealed for the continuous support of the Chiefs and the Bibiani people for the successful execution of the project “as planned to pour its first gold at Bibiani by the end of this year 2021”. Mr. Li further said that, Chifeng will localise its opportunities for the benefit of the local people and the Communities-of-Interest as well as the entire Ghanaian national economy.
Sefwi Anhwiaso Traditional Council
The Paramount Chief Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, who is also the President of the National House of Chiefs of Ghana welcomed Resolute/Mensin and Chefeng to the palace and to his land. He further thanked Mensin and Resolute for the hard work undertaken to redefine the economic viability of the Bibiani Mine.
He reiterated the questions and comments by his Chiefs and people in the areas of job creation for the local people, award of contract to the local qualified contractors, compliance to law and regulations for the safety of the environment and the people, payment of deserving salaries, payment of creditors, employing the current staff of Mensin, running the RFAP with its excellent development pillars and sponsoring legacy matters such as Goldstars Football Club and MGBL School. He therefore suggested to Chifeng to consider all of the comments and questions into the operations for the realisation of a shared value to benefit all stakeholders.
Ogyahoho Yaw Gyebi II took the opportunity to assure Chifeng that the Chiefs and the people will give the required maximum support for the operations so to revive the Bibiani Mine which is the lifeblood of the Bibiani economy.
Source: Solomon Anderson, Contributor