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"…a significant milestone for EAM and the emerging Ethiopian mining sector"

East Africa Metals (TSXV: EAM) has struck a deal to finance and develop its three gold projects in Ethiopia, less than 12 months since a US$250 million deal with a Hong Kong firm fell through.
"…a significant milestone for EAM and the emerging Ethiopian mining sector" "…a significant milestone for EAM and the emerging Ethiopian mining sector" "…a significant milestone for EAM and the emerging Ethiopian mining sector" "…a significant milestone for EAM and the emerging Ethiopian mining sector" "…a significant milestone for EAM and the emerging Ethiopian mining sector"

East Africa Metals executes finance LOI for 3 projects

Staff reporter

EAM said it had executed a binding letter of intent with Chinese mining company Tibet Huayu Mining to finance, develop and operate its assets in exchange for majority stakes in the projects.

EAM holds 70% of Harvest Mining and its Terakimti gold heap leach project, and 100% of Tigray Resources, which owns the Mato Bula and Da Tambuk deposits, all within 15km of each other.

Under the deal, Tibet Huayu will pay US$1.7 million and finance, develop and operate the three projects, in return for a 55% interest in Harvest and 70% of Tigray.

EAM had said Terakimti, which already has a mining licence, was its development focus as it released positive preliminary economic assessments for all three last April.   

Mining licences for Mato Bula and Da Tambuk require a formal ratification after the ministry of mines and petroleum approved mining agreements for the two last month.

EAM said it would retain the mineral rights and exploration obligations for the prospective targets not incorporated in the three mining licences.

"The signing of the binding LOI with Tibet Huayu marks a significant milestone for EAM and the emerging Ethiopian mining sector," CEO Andrew Lee Smith said.

The initial capex for Mato Bula, Da Tambuk and Terakimti (on a 100% basis) is $54.2 million, $34 million and $17.2 million, with expected internal rates of return of 34.1%, 37.8% and 37.4% respectively, EAM said.

Meanwhile, the company's assets in Tanzania are in limbo as EAM continues an arbitration process started in May 2018, arguing the developer is in breach of the Tanzanian definitive agreements and addendum.  

EAM had a working capital deficit of about C$1.4 million (US$1.05 million) at the end of September.

Shares in the company, which have ranged between C14-29c over the past year, gained 1c or 5.56% on Friday to close at 19c, capitalising it over $31 million.