ASCOM Group announces positive preliminary reports of gold mineralization in its concessions in Ethiopia, Sudan and Algeria as it continues to expand its operations across several North African countries
ASEC Company for Mining — ASCOM (ASCM.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange), a Citadel Capital Platform Company, announced today that it has made material progress at its gold concessions in Ethiopia, Sudan and Algeria.
“The last 12 months have seen some tremendous progress as ASCOM has secured excellent concessions in known gold regions in Africa,” said ASCOM Precious Metals Mining (APM) Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Crichton.
ASCOM currently has five concessions in Ethiopia and has recently secured precious metals exploration rights on a 3,000-square-kilometer concession in Sudan’s Blue Nile State. The company’s Ethiopian and Sudanese concessions are both located within the Arabian-Nubian Shield, an under-explored area that is highly promising for its gold and gold-plus-base-metal mineralization.
“We are working on all five concessions in Ethiopia,” says Crichton, “with a primary focus at present on the concession in Asosa, an 800-square-kilometer area in Western Ethiopia where results have identified two well-defined gold and gold-plus-metal targets showing tonnage and grade potential to suggest an economic discovery is possible.”
According to Crichton, an international team of geologists and an international drill contractor are now in advanced stages of preparation for an aggressive phase of drilling scheduled to start in October 2010.
ASCOM subsidiary APM has also reported promising results in Sudan. Preliminary remote sensing satellite investigations have already been completed and numerous exploration targets have been identified. A follow-up airborne geophysical survey is planned to rapidly evaluate and identify additional target areas for fieldwork and potential drilling.
Commenting on APM’s newest concession Crichton said, “Based on preliminary studies, the Blue Nile State contains potential for sizeable deposits. We look forward to fully assessing the region’s exploration potential, finding a mining deposit and developing an extraction strategy and timeline.”
In Algeria, APM is the largest shareholder in GMA Resources, a UK-listed gold exploration and mining company. GMA owns 52% of ENOR, an existing mining operation in Southern Algeria with excellent further exploration potential. The current focus in Algeria is on increasing production. GMA recently announced that it had re-commissioned an additional gold processing plant to treat high grade ores at its Amesmessa mine to increase gold production by 1,000 ounces per month. In the six-month period between January and June 2010, ENOR produced an average 1,971 ounces of gold per month.
“These promising results in Algeria, Ethiopia and Sudan underscore the fundamental soundness of Citadel Capital’s investment in ASCOM,” noted Citadel Capital Managing Director Alaa El-Afifi. “We see significant growth potential at ASCOM in the coming period.”
Citadel Capital holds a 39.22% stake in ASCOM.
APM, which is 100% owned by ASCOM, was established in early 2009 as part of ASCOM’s strategy to consolidate its precious metal exploration and production operations. ASCOM hired Crichton, an industry veteran with experience in both exploration and mine operation, as CEO to spearhead the expansion of the new portfolio company.
ASEC Company for Mining — ASCOM (ASCM.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is a regional geological and mining services company that specializes in geological investigations and the management of quarry operations for the cement industry as well as exploration and production of industrial minerals and precious metals such as gold and copper. ASCOM has operations spanning from Egypt to Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Sudan. In addition to exploration and mining for industrial minerals and precious metals, the company currently produces 40 million tons of raw material each year, providing 65% of all raw material consumed annually by the Egyptian cement industry. Moreover, the company has recently expanded into the manufacturing area, starting with 180,000 tpa of calcium carbonate as well as a 50,000 tpa glasswool and rockwool manufacturing plant.
Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is the leading private equity in the Middle East and Africa. Citadel Capital focuses on building regional platforms in select industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfields executed via Opportunity Specific Funds. Citadel Capital’s 19 OSFs now control Platform Companies with investments worth more than US$ 8.3 billion in 14 countries spanning 15 industries, including mining, cement, transportation, food and energy. Since 2004, the firm has generated more than US$ 2.5 billion in cash returns to its co-investors and shareholders (on investments of US$ 650 million), more than any other private equity firm in the region. Citadel Capital is the largest private equity firm in Africa by PE assets under management (2004-2010, as ranked by Private Equity International). For more information, please visit www.citadelcapital.com.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Head of Corporate Communications
Citadel Capital (S.A.E.)
g...@qalaaholdings.com (click to reveal this email)
Tel: +20 2 2791-4440 • Fax: +20 22 791-4448
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