London, England — 11 October 2012 – Gold explorer Nyota Minerals says it has been approached by investors who wish to partner with the company to help finance a mine in Ethiopia, adding to confidence that its project will get off the ground.
Reuters reports that Nyota “’ listed on London’s junior market with a market capitalisation of £33 million “’ is finalising plans for a US$250 million mine in Ethiopia, and will likely look to raise funds through a combination of debt and equity next year.
Chief executive Richard Chase told Reuters in an interview that one financing option would be for the company to sell a stake in the project.
“We get numerous approaches,” he said, referring to different potential investors looking to buy into the project, which will be the East African country’s second gold mine.
He added that among those interested in partnering were groups from China. Chinese companies “’ unable to satisfy soaring demand for gold bars and jewellery from domestic investors seeking stores of value for their wealth “’ have made a string of investments in gold miners in recent months.
Chase said that lender appetite to back the project was strong, adding that recent deals by British companies, such as Diageo’s acquisition of a brewery in January, meant Ethiopia was no longer seen as an untested frontier.
Nyota said discussions with the Ethiopian government regarding the granting of a mining licence “’ which it needs to be able to proceed with its plans “’ were ongoing and positive, despite slipping from a September timetable in the aftermath of the death in August of Ethiopia’s long-serving prime minister Meles Zenawi.
Source: Reuters Africa. For more information, click here.