The Democratic Republic of Congo’s state-owned entity Société de Miniere de Kilo-Moto SA, or SOKIMO, has issued a press statement indicating its displeasure with the proposed merger between Randgold Resources and Barrick Gold Corporation.
According to its press statement, SOKIMO only learned of the contemplated merger between the companies Randgold Resources and Barrick Gold Corporation from their recent press announcements.
“According to the first elements available, given the control by Barrick Gold Corporation’s shareholders of 66.6% of the new entity, this transaction would introduce de facto a new partner in the Kibali project,” SOKIMO’s statement states.
“SOKIMO is considering in more detail the available documentation to date and will assert its rights, in this other illustration of control transfer transactions between large global groups, conceived and structured to impose themselves, without any prior discussion, in the countries from which the resources that make up their wealth are extracted.”
Randgold Resources refutes SOKIMO statement
Randgold has refuted reported claims by SOKIMO to the effect that the proposed Barrick/Randgold merger will introduce a new partner in the Kibali joint venture in the Democratic Republic of Congo and that it consequently intends to “assert its rights”.
The company said the proposed merger would have no effect on Kibali Goldmines SA, in which Randgold has an indirect 45% interest while SOKIMO holds 10%. The other joint venture partner is AngloGold Ashanti.
There are no provisions in the joint venture agreement and the related documentation which give SOKIMO any rights resulting from the proposed merger.
Randgold also notes that it had consulted comprehensively with SOKIMO at board and executive level in the days following the announcement of the proposed merger, as well as with the Minister of Mines and other interested parties regarding the proposed transaction.
The company said it would continue to engage with all parties to demonstrate that this transaction was in the interests of all stakeholders.