Unfavourable ownership limitations prompt withdrawal of Katoro Gold Mining

Martin Endjala

Katoro Gold Plc announced that it is withdrawing from investment projects in Namibia and South Africa, due to unfavourable local ownership limitations and a strategic shift towards higher-value ventures.

Given the challenges encountered in obtaining evidence of ownership title for the Namibian project, Katoro Gold Plc’s Chief Executive Officer, Louis Coetzee said they have determined that it is prudent to cease further investment in this venture.

This comes after Katoro entered into a binding conditional agreement with Trans Namibian Mining and Minerals (Pty) Ltd in 2022, to establish a 50-50 unincorporated joint venture.

The joint venture aimed to develop a mining and processing facility to export quality iron ore, with an envisaged capacity of 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum of 62 percent iron content during the first four years of production.

Katoro emphasised its intention to pursue recovery of invested amounts from relevant third parties.

“The company reserves its rights to pursue recovery of any amounts invested to date from third parties where it is appropriate to do so, albeit the amounts invested to date are very modest given the limited progress achieved,” said Coetzee.

Similarly, following a review of the Blyvoor Project in South Africa, and given the new direction of Katoro, the company decided to cease any further investment in the project with immediate effect.

Some of the reasons are attributed to the difficult navigation of a complex commercial ownership situation with the original project vendors and notable local disturbances in the area of the project which would make pursuance of the project extremely challenging, even if the company was able to resolve the commercial challenges to secure a project interest.

Katoro said the current focus is on a limited number of high-impact exploration and development projects, rather than a diverse wide-ranging portfolio, enabling the allocation of working capital into a set of focused business interests in Tanzania.

Furthermore, he said while the company remains highly engaged concerning the Haneti Project, identifying additional, potentially high-value project opportunities, remains the route to further grow the company’s interests and generate value for shareholders.

Subsequently, the strong African and global technical capabilities accessible by the company are said to open up a new range of avenues of possibilities, to develop existing interests and the potential acquisition of new opportunities.

This includes an ability to stake new ground in strategic locations and, if relevant, consider acquisitions or earn-ins on existing project interests.

Katoro Gold PLC, formerly Opera Investments Plc, is a United Kingdom-based exploration company and listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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