Canadian suitor eyes Metallon assets

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TINASHE MAKICHI

Canadian-headq u a r t e r e d gold producer, B2Gold Corporation, is reportedly eyeing to acquire Metallon Gold Corporation’s Zimbabwean mining assets; Shamva and Redwing goldmines, both located in Mashonaland Central Province.

Information gathered by Business Times shows that Metallon has been a target of several big investors. To date, the miner has received about six investors who have since carried out due diligence exercise of the two mines.

Among the investors, it is believed that the Canadian firm is the front runner with preliminary agreements already in place, but awaiting finalisation on the value of the two assets. Metallon, whose local units include How Mine, Mazowe Mine, Shamva Mine and Redwing Mine, is owned by the South African mining magnate, Mzi Khumalo.

Government sources close to developments said there had been some movements with regards the acquisition of Metallon’s two assets. But when contacted, Metallon’s head of communications, Klara Kaczmarek, said “Metallon has no comment on these reports at this time.” B2Gold Corp, founded in 2007, is the world’s new senior gold producer, with five gold mines and numerous exploration and development projects in various countries, including Nicaragua, the Philippines, Namibia, Mali, Burkina Faso and Colombia.

Metallon has been facing severe operational challenges, which have seen the miner putting Mazowe and Shamva mines under care and maintenance. According to Khumalo, the gold producer has been considering paying for mining equipment suppliers in gold because the cash shortages in Zimbabwe have been hampering its plan to expand output. The gold miner has also been facing multiple litigations from creditors, a situation which has led to some of its equipment being attached and auctioned, according to reports.

Metallon holds the largest gold reserves in the country of about eight million ounces. Khumalo has said the mining group would continue with its expansion plans, with a target to move from 1,8 million tonnes per annum to nine million tonnes per annum.