“The last 15 months have been significant in the history of AeL’s Francophone West Africa business portfolio” reports Managing Director Mark Benning.
Between November 2016 and March 2017 the AeL business portfolio in Francophone West Africa was awarded 4 new contracts to supply products and services to new mining projects in the region worth usD106 million over the next 5 years. These include 3 contracts as a sub-contractor to African Mining services (AMs) in senegal, Burkina and Mali at the Mako, Boungou and Yanfolila projects respectively. The 4th contract was with endeavour Mining at their flagship Houndé project in Burkina Faso.
It is exciting times for the Francophone team with mobilisation having started on all 4 sites at the time of writing and first blasts had been successfully taken at Houndé on 4th August, at Boungou on 25th August and at Mako on 13th september and at Yanfolila on 15th October. The total capital investment across all 4 projects is more than usD8.0million and includes 2 new emulsion plants (at Mako and Houndé) as well as 5 MMu’s. In some cases, the availability of used assets has allowed AeL to deploy in time for project commencement until items with long lead times are delivered. exactly 111 new employees have been recruited, trained and deployed for the 4 projects.
“We put this recent success down to a change in our approach to tendering on new opportunities and it seems to have paid off. Of 5 finalised tenders issued in the region during this period, AeL won 4 and it clearly indicates that the decision to change our strategy was the right one.”
“Our management team sat down and had an honest look at our lack of success in recent years and identified a number of key areas for improvement. ultimately it was about being more competitive and meant finding ways of reducing input costs and adding value.”
“We have worked with AMs before and are thrilled to be working with them again. They have a growing presence throughout the region and our values are similar in many ways. Being awarded 3 projects in 3 different countries meant that we could look at ways of exploiting synergies across the region.”
“We are particularly excited about our involvement in the Houndé project and our first time relationship with endeavour Mining who have built a portfolio of projects in the region over the last few years, and who continue to look for opportunities having also acquired the Karma Mine in Burkina Faso and Avnel’s Kalana project in Mali. They are also investing in expanding their Ity mine in Côte d’Ivoire and in exploration. We are looking forward to building our relationship with endeavour through the Houndé project.”
“It was a challenging year for everyone but it’s a nice challenge to have. Watching all the planning and resources come together is very rewarding for the team. All the projects have potential upside in terms of the life of mine which is likely to be enhanced through the first few years of development. We want to be there all the way to the end so will be working hard at meeting our clients’ requirements and unlocking value for the benefit of all concerned.”
“On behalf of AeL Mining services, we would like to thank our new customers for putting their trust in us and for providing us with an opportunity to partner with them for the next few years as we work together unlocking wealth at these new projects.”
In addition to the new projects, AeL has also successfully extended its contracts at all 3 Nordgold mines to December 2020 at Lefa (in Guinea) and Taparko as well as to December 2021 at Bissa, Nordgolds flagship mine, both in Burkina Faso, and which includes the stand alone heap leach operation at Bouly. Negotiations commenced in June 2016 but were only concluded in October 2017. The combined contracts are worth an estimated usD70million over the contract periods.
“Nordgold is a key customer and it was important to secure this contract to maintain and consolidate our leading market position in the region. extending our relationship will deliver significant intrinsic value for both parties and once again we thank Nordgold for the confidence shown in our company and its people throughout the region to deliver”.