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Shanta completes acquisition of West Kenya.

Tanzania gold miner Shanta Gold has completed the US$14.5 million acquisition of West Kenya across the border in Kenya, from Barrick Gold (now a 6% Shanta shareholder), and plans to start infill and extension drilling soon to try to build out the current resource of 1.2Mt grading 12.6gpt (1.18Moz) and complete a scoping study in the current half.

“The West Kenya acquisition is significant for Shanta Gold, creating an East African gold mining champion with realisable growth prospects and high asset quality across three attractive gold projects,” Shanta CEO Eric Zurrin said last week.

“With the stronger gold price environment, the company remains focussed on value-driven opportunities alongside maintaining sustainable and cost-efficient operations at New Luika gold mine. With the acquisition of the West Kenya Project now complete Shanta has diversified its East-African portfolio with a highly complementary asset that significantly bolsters the company’s growth pipeline.”

Meanwhile, the company is on track to generate strong 2020 free cash flow and earnings on the back of full-year production of 80,000-85,000oz at AISC of US$830-880/oz after EBITDA climbed to $34.4 million (up 52% year-on-year) on gold sales of $73 million (up 36% yoy) and production of 44,000oz (up 7% yoy) in the first half of the year.

The company realised an average of US$1,533/oz for gold sold in the half (plus-17% yoy), including gold sold into its hedge contracts. Outstanding forward gold sales were at 27,000oz at an average price of $1,251/oz for the current half-year.

Shanta said profit after tax for the latest half-year was $1 million compared with a $5.7 million loss for the same period last year.

It had net cash of $2.1 million at June 30, compared with net debt of $14.3 million a year ago.

Shanta is spending $5 million on exploration this year, up 65% on 2019.

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