China’s Chifeng Jilong walks away from deal to buy Ghana gold mine
Adds detail, background, attempt to seek comment from Resolute
April 19 (Reuters) – China’s Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining 600988.SS on Monday cancelled an agreement to buy the Bibiani gold mine in Ghana, saying it had not received timely information from the seller about the termination of the mining lease.
Australia-based Resolute Mining RSG.AX agreed to sell Bibiani to Chifeng Jilong for around $105 million in December, apparently extending a flurry of Chinese M&A in the gold mining sector, only to announce last month its lease had been terminated by the Ghanaian government.
The lease was restored last week under terms that did not recognize the sale.
In a filing, Chifeng Jilong said Resolute had been told in a Nov. 6 letter from Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources that the lease had been terminated but “did not disclose” the information.
Resolute did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of normal business hours.
The Chinese firm, which urged Resolute to refund an advance payment of around $5 million, said it only found out about the minister’s letter on March 24, when Resolute announced it had received a separate letter from the Ghanaian Minerals Commission saying the lease had been terminated.
The deal would have marked Chifeng Jilong’s second overseas acquisition, after it bought a 90% stake in the Sepon gold and copper mine in Laos in 2018.