Archive for December 2011

Sonatrach to step in after GMA Algeria gold mine pullout   Leave a comment

ALGIERS, Dec 6, 2011 (AFP) – – Sonatrach, the government-owned company exploiting Algeria’s hydrocarbon resources, said Tuesday it would absorb the stake held by Australia’s GMA in the Tamanrasset gold mine.

GMA controls 52 percent of the Entreprise d’Exploitation des Mines d’Or (ENOR), a joint venture with Sonatrach mining deposits in Tamanrasset, 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles) south of Algiers.

The Australian group had announced in mid-October that it was pulling out of the joint venture due to high exploitation costs.

“We have decided to take over the entirety of GMA’s ENOR stake in the Tirek-Amesmessa mine,” Energy and Mining Minister Youcef Yousfi told the official APS agency on the sidelines of an oil conference in Doha.

Sonatrach, which holds the remaining 48 percent stake in ENOR, had initially said it would not be in a position to run the mine alone.

“The exploitation approach chosen and developed by GMA wasn’t the best, they were never going to go very far with those methods and they eventually hit a wall,” the minister said.

“Sonatrach will start over and outline a new approach to develop the mine,” Yousfi said.

He said Algeria would turn to bigger players in the future.

“We don’t want junior companies like GMA anymore. What we need are companies with the necessary experience, finances and technical expertise,” Yousf added.

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