WHEN we last left Peter Breese’s Asanko Gold in 2014, the company had just completed a neat $130m financing package with hedge fund, Red Kite Group, for development of the gold firm’s Asanko Gold Mine in Ghana. Those were the days: the full horror of the commodities meltdown hadn’t quite materialised; even the dollar gold price was bobbing above $1,380 per ounce for part of that year. Unperturbed, Asanko has set about putting its project together saying in an operational update in May 2015 that it would combine its first phase 190,000 oz a year Oboton pit with the second phase Esaase pit to eventually create a 411,000 oz/year producer. Hot commissioning at Oboton kicked off in December and the maiden gold pour is still scheduled for the first quarter of this year – pretty much what Breese had been saying for the last 12 months. So it’s with high hopes we can assume cash positive production will be booked, as management forecast, from mid-March onwards. All in all, Asanko Gold Mine would have cost $295m to build with the balance of the project funded in a February 2015 C$42m ‘bought deal’ or share issue. Talk in 2014 of Asanko playing a consolidatory role in African gold mining seems to have been tamped down, however, as the focus falls on delivering the current project.
LIFE OF PETER
A seasoned mining entrepreneur, Breese was the former CEO of Norilsk Africa following its $6bn takeover of LionOre, the South African firm of which he was COO. Breese specialises in lucrative exits: he was CEO of Mantra Resources before its $1bn acquisition by ARMZ. Breese, who holds a PMD from Harvard Business School, has operated in the uranium, nickel, platinum and chrome sectors throughout southern Africa.
- Web Address: www.asanko.com