Gold Ridge set to reopen

LOs get 10 percent share in new GRML set up

By Gary Hatigeva

NEW life is being breathed into the Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML).

As the gold price shows evidence of a recovery, GRML has announced set plans to restart operations at the old site that was used formerly by the last two operators, Rose Mining Limited and the St Barbara Mining Limited.

The component has been sitting idle in care and maintenance since it was abandoned by the last operator over two years ago, but the new partnership under the GRML name has revealed intentions to recommence production and is very confident it will happen this year.

The adjacent site was separately acquired by the Gold Ridge Community Investment Limited (GCIL) who went on to sell 90 percent of its shares to foreign investor, the AXF Resources Company of Australia.

The new partnership extended and got a third partner, one of the global Chinese company, Wanguo International Mining who became the major shareholder in the GRML having been sold 60 percent by the Australian partner.

Following numerous meetings and consultations between the three partnering companies, the group settled for a structure that gives the Wanguo International Mining major shares of 60 percent, while 30 percent was given to the Australian partner and 10 percent to the landowners through the GCIL.

Prior to the forged partnership, the GCIL had the site valued and based on the valuation for its contribution through the remaining infrastructures on site, was how it came down to the 10 percent share, which was welcomed by the landowners after the structure was revealed.

Members of the new GRML Partnership set up, including Directors, Board members, Managers and initial establishment employees, pausing for a group photo with a delegate from the government who visited the site on Thursday to witness the preparations for the resumption of gold mining

According to the GCIL/GRML Director, Benjamin Afuga when interviewed revealed that the GCIL being the original owner, acquired both the company and the company name (GRML), which the partnership chose to continue using as the merging company name.

“So we will continue to use the Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) name, which it sort of portrays or reflects our partnership in this company,” he said.

He however stressed that unlike some other similar set ups, the striking thing about the Gold Ridge partnership deal is, landowners through GCIL do have representatives as board members in the GRML Board of Directors.

“And they will still get the royalties and other waving benefits that are set aside for the landowners as agreed to by the new partnership,” Afuga added.

This is something a lot of business analysts interviewed, both local and international, felt was a worthwhile agreement, knowing that the landowners will have influences and contributing say in the decisions to made regarding the operation of GRML.

Meanwhile, in another interview, AXF representative and GRML General Manager under the new partnership, Dr Fiona Martin explained that the setup is an advantaged position because the infrastructures and some of the needed facilities already in place to commence extraction.

“The Gold Ridge mine has the existing sites with facilities that are involved to complete the cycle of operation, are already in place, providing an opportunity to begin mining with minimal delays but will need small additional investments for little adjustments,” she said.

Island Sun was unable to get the exact figures before this story was put in for publication, but earlier estimation highlighted that the operation is tipped to employ over 1000 workers when it formally starts.

Currently, the company (GRML) has workers representing the three partnering investors on site, putting together resources and doing final touch ups on various facilities and related components to ensure administrations of the operation starts.

Follow Island Sun as we continue to cover the progress in preparations and further announcements for both the breakeven timeframe and other developments of the operation.

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