Tasiast mine
The Tasiast open pit mine

TSX-listed Kinross Gold Corporation and the government of Mauritania have reached an agreement to enhance their partnership in the Tasiast gold mine.

Mauritania – Under the terms of agreement, the government will provide Kinross with a 30-year exploitation license for Tasiast Sud under the 2008 Mining Code and the 2012 Mining Convention. This will be granted with expedited permitting and the possibility of early mining.

The agreement also provides for the reinstatement of the tax exemption on fuel duties and the repayment by the government to Kinross of approximately $40 million in outstanding VAT refunds with an agreed payment schedule through 2025.

Kinross will make a $10 million payment to the government after completion of the definitive agreements to resolve disputed matters related to fuel use and tax exemptions. In addition, upon receiving the exploitation license for Tasiast Sud, Kinross will make a $15 million payment to resolve disputed matters arising out of Kinross’ prior application to convert the Tasiast Sud exploration license into an exploitation license. 

Read: “Mauritanisation” plan for Tasiast

Win-win partnership

The parties have also agreed to enhanced exploration programmes at Tasiast Sud and Kinross-held concessions north of the current mining area, to the extent achievable in the current COVID-19 environment. The exploration programme at the large, underexplored and prospective Tasiast Sud property is expected to focus on upgrading existing indicated resource estimates of 193 000  ounces and inferred resource estimates of 817 000 ounces and to potentially enhance the probable reserve estimates of 144 000 ounces.

Kinross President and CEO, J. Paul Rollinson, commented on the agreement, “We are pleased to see further development of a positive foreign investment climate in Mauritania with this successful outcome of our discussions with the government, along with the IFC-led Tasiast project financing signed in December 2019. This balanced agreement will deliver increased stability, position Tasiast for long-term success, and provide enhanced benefits to Mauritania and its people.”

Mohamed Abdel Vetah, Mauritanian Minister of Petroleum, Mines and Energy added, “Tasiast is an important contributor to Mauritania and we believe our new agreement will be a positive model for other foreign mining investors. We are pleased that our longstanding and important partnership with Kinross has been strengthened, and we welcome the continued investment in our country and contributions to its socio-economic development.”