KINROSS Gold Corporation is to pay the Mauritania government $10m related to “disputed matters” and has also agreed to put two representatives from the West African government on the board of the local subsidiary operating the Tasiast gold mine.
This is in terms of a “definitive agreement” with the government that builds on a pact in 2020 in which the firm agreed to pay an improved royalty linked to the gold price whilst receiving tax exemptions on fuel duties. The Mauritanian government had also agreed to pay $40m to Kinross in VAT returns over five years.
Kinross CEO J. Paul Rollinson said earlier this year that Tasiast was the company’s standout performer for the 2020 financial year ended December producing a record 406,509 ounces of gold for the period. Kinross is undertaking a second phase expansion at Tasiast that will take gold production to an average of 563,000 oz a year between 2022 and 2028.
The Canadian miner said that for 2021, gold production from its West African assets would contribute 22% (520,000 oz) of 2.4 million oz in group forecast production. Group equivalent annual gold production was expected to increase to 2.7 and 2.9 million oz in the 2022 and 2023 financial years respectively.
However, a mill fire on June 15 at Tasiast could potentially threaten its production target. Kinross said today it was “… focused on the goal of restarting milling operations at Tasiast” and that it was “… prioritising efforts and processes to achieve this shared objective”.