Richard Hyde
Rainmakers & Potstirrers

Richard Hyde

CEO: West African Resources

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‘We would rather work on good projects in a challenging jurisdiction than challenging projects in a better jurisdiction’

WEST African Resources got a bit of a kicking in October after Burkina Faso upped its gold royalty rate. Shares in the company slid to a 12-month low. Outside of jurisdictional risk, however, life has gone swimmingly for Richard Hyde’s company. But he’s realistic about sovereign risk in Burkina Faso where West African operates the 230,000-ounce-a-year Sanbrado Gold Project. “We go to Africa because the projects are better,” he told the Australian Financial Review in April. Investors tend to apply a discount to political risk but Hyde thinks over time the fabulous net profits West African has been generating will speak louder than political turmoil. Certainly lenders haven’t been put off by Burkina Faso’s troubles.

In June Sprott Resource Lending Corp. and Coris Bank International agreed to fund $265m of the $430m required to build West African’s second mine, Kiaka, a deposit near Sanbrado the firm bought from Canadian miner B2Gold. The balance of Kiaka, which will take West African’s production north of 400,000 oz/year from 2025 for 10 years, will be funded from cash and internally generated cash flow. Returning to the question of political risk, national security was top of Hyde’s agenda when in October his company announced plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with Orezone which will work on improving protective measures for their neighbouring properties as well as “drive synergies” on renewable and grid power, procurement and other supply chain issues.

In December, Hyde said a scoping study found potential to displace low-grade open-pit ore at Sanbrado with underground more in an extension project that will add 35,000 oz/year to production for five years.


Hyde is a geologist with 25 years’ experience in the mining industry and over 20 years’ experience operating in West Africa. In his time, he’s managed large exploration and development projects for gold and base metals in Australia, Africa and Eastern Europe. He founded West African in 2006 and has led the company from IPO in 2010 through to production in 2020. He was instrumental in putting together the A$365m debt and equity financing to fund Sanbrado in March 2020. Hyde holds a BSc degree in geology and geophysics from the University of New England and is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy as well as the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.

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