SO far so good for Betts’s Hummingbird Resources, which poured its first gold from Yanfolila, its Mali project, at the end of 2017. A power plant was fully commissioned in October and wet commissioning started in late November. It couldn’t be easier. As a sign that matters are well in hand, the company’s share price has gained just over 100% at the time of writing. The majority of 2017 was given over to a fair bit of housekeeping. Hummingbird exercised an option to take its stake in the mine to 80% and also improve its terms of debt agreeing to a facility with Coris Bank International of up to $60m. But there are signs Betts is giving mind to scaling up Hummingbird’s production numbers and reach. In September, the firm bought a stake in African Gold, which owns Kobada – a property adjoining Yanfolila. The idea is that by trucking ore from Kobada to Yanfolila’s premises output can be ramped up 45% to 150,000 oz/year from its production goal of 107,000 oz/year. Another interesting development was the listing in London of Cora Gold, a company which owns the Sanankoro gold deposit in Mali. Hummingbird has a 33.85% stake in Cora Gold, positioning it for a takeover – and production growth for Hummingbird shareholders – if Betts so desires.
LIFE OF DANIEL
Betts is from a family that has been trading gold for more than 250 years. After graduating from Nottingham University, Betts worked for Accenture Management Consultants until he joined the family business. As the oldest privately-owned gold bullion smelters and refiners in the UK, the family was able to finance him for three years while he established Hummingbird Resources, which listed in London in 2010.
- Web Address: www.hummingbirdresources.co.uk