The current drop in prices for gold around the world is a cause for concern for gold exploration companies in Sierra Leone, including Amara Mining (Cluff Gold) and Polo Resources (Nimini Holdings Limited).
The two gold exploration companies are currently negotiating with the Government of Sierra Leone, for the commencement of mining operations, but the fall in gold prices may seriously affect their investment plans.
Exploration companies have less flexibility than their producing peers as they are faced with the choice of continuing work or conserving cash. Many seem to be opting to press on with their current exploration plans and completing studies that are underway, with a view to moving into a period of effective hibernation once the current phase of work is completed.
A number of companies, such as Aureus Mining, which is developing Liberia’s first gold mine, New Liberty, and Asanko Gold, which is developing the Esaase project in Ghana, are now at the point where they need to secure debt, given that very few have secured a final debt package.