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Gold majors Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti propose Ghana JV to create Africa's largest gold mine

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(Kitco News) - Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti announced today that they have agreed the key terms of a proposed joint venture in Ghana between Gold Fields' Tarkwa and AngloGold Ashanti's neighboring Iduapriem mines.

The Tarkwa mine is held by Gold Fields Ghana, in which Gold Fields currently owns a 90% share and the Government of Ghana holds 10%. The Iduapriem mine is currently 100% owned by AngloGold Ashanti. Both mines are located near the town of Tarkwa in the country's Western Region.

According to a press release, it is intended that the proposed joint venture will be an incorporated joint venture, constituted within Gold Fields Ghana and operated by Gold Fields. AngloGold Ashanti will contribute its 100% interest in Iduapriem to Gold Fields Ghana in return for a shareholding in that company.

Excluding the interest to be held by the Government of Ghana, Gold Fields will have an interest of 66.7%, or two-thirds, and AngloGold Ashanti will have an interest of 33.3%, or one-third, in the proposed joint venture.

"The proposed joint venture would create the largest gold mine in Africa and one of the largest in the world. It will be a high-quality operation, supported by a substantial mineral endowment and an initial life spanning almost two decades. Operational synergies will be achieved by optimizing mining of the combined ore bodies and consolidating the infrastructure of the immediately adjacent mines for the long-term benefit of all shareholders and stakeholders,” the companies said in a joint statement.

In 2022, Tarkwa produced 531,600 oz at all-in cost and all-in sustaining costs of $1,248/oz. As at 31 December 2021, Tarkwa had proved and probable gold mineral reserves of 5.22Moz and measured, indicated and inferred gold mineral resources of 3.38Moz.

In 2022, Iduapriem produced 248,000 oz at a total cash cost of US$970/oz and an all-in sustaining cost of $1,299/oz. As at 31 December 2022, Idaupriem had proved and probable gold mineral reserves of 2.42 Moz and measured, indicated and inferred gold mineral resources of 3.92 Moz.

The proposed joint venture will have an estimated life of at least 18 years, which could increase through an extension and optimization plan, with an estimated average annual production (100% basis) of almost 900koz over the first five years and an average annual production in excess of 600koz over the estimated life of operation. All in sustaining cost (in 2023 terms) is expected to be less than US$1,000/oz over the first five years and less than US$1,200/oz over the estimated life of operation.

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