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Red Rock progressing Central, West African projects

24th January 2024

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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Natural resource development company Red Rock Resources now has four active licences in West Africa over projects of “high prospectivity”, chairperson Andrew Bell says.

This follows the recent granting or renewal of three gold licences, including the renewal of the Bilbale and Boulon licences, in Burkina Faso.

Geochemical testing of the Bilbale licence and mapping of key zones has begun, with a view to semi-mechanised mining of alluvial areas and follow-up drilling of hard-rock targets.

The company highlights promising rock chip results from mapped areas at Bilbale, including 14.7 g/t and 11.2 g/t gold.

The development team is mobilising on site at Bilbale, with activities to begin gold production under way, guided by Red Rock’s local staff and a team of experts from South Africa, Zimbabwe and India.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the company is continuing to seek the release of an arbitration award.

The company’s 100%-owned subsidiary in the DRC obtained in 2022 an executory judgment for $2.5-million (being 50.1% of $5-million paid to a local partner by a buyer).

Arbitration hearings and negotiations have been held in Kinshasa to obtain 50.1% of the $15-million still to be paid.

A draft of the arbitration award has been received and awaits signature and release. This process was delayed during the election period which has now concluded with the re-election of President Felix Tshisekedi.

“We believe the conclusion of this lengthy process is now near,” Bell says.

“Award of the first two licences in Côte d'Ivoire has also taken up to two years, but our patience and persistence have been crowned with success there, as we continue to believe they will be in DRC. We are working actively on crystallising immediate added value to Red Rock in these licences,” he adds.

In Zimbabwe, Red Rock’s primary emphasis on trading to the end of the rainy season or later was a strategy designed to control risk and enable flexible and opportunistic response to price volatility, Bell points out.

“We do not believe lithium prices, currently below $1 000/t cost, insurance and freight China for all grades of ore (before discounts and commissions), are likely to rise in the near future, but as we are able to take advantage of this environment, we are unconcerned and can focus on medium-term growth prospects,” Bell outlines.

He notes that deliveries into China will provisionally be timed for late February or March, not in the expectation of a sharp price rise, but because delivery before then is likely to involve demurrage (storage costs) and/or discounts owing to the lack of demand as China goes into the Chinese New Year period with high stocks of both electric cars and lithium.

“Gold should therefore be a better driver of cash flow progress in the near term and, fortunately, we are well-positioned with gold projects in this region capable of near-term production,” he avers.

The company says the recent grant of a second licence in the group of four gold applications around Yamoussoukro creates critical mass for development or establishing a joint venture in Côte d'Ivoire.

Bell posits that the prospectivity of the company’s licences in Côte d'Ivoire is evidenced by third-party interest it is beginning to attract from potential buyers and partners. Red Rock is planning a management visit to Yamoussoukro in mid-February. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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