TORONTO, Feb. 20 /CNW/ - Africo Resources Ltd. announces that Swanmines
sprl. has received written notification from the Minister of Mines in the DRC
of the results of the revisitation of the mining agreement with respect to
Swanmines sprl., which is the entity that holds the exploitation permit on the
Kalukundi copper and cobalt property. Africo Resources owns 75% of
Swanmines sprl. through its wholly-owned subsidiary H&J Swanepoel Family Trust
s.p.r.l. A response has been requested by February 27, 2008, although there
has been an indication that this time period can be extended.
The notification outlines the following matters: The absence of a
feasibility study that led to an arbitrary determination of the shareholdings
in Swanmines; the reduction of Gecamines' interest in Swanmines and, finally,
the dispute between H&J (Africo's subsidiary) and Akam Mining which has
resulted in the curtailing of Swanmines' activities.
The notification goes on to indicate the Government's requirements which
are as follows:
- The feasibility study for the project is to be provided to the
Government. This study shall, in particular, identify and assess the
real contributions of the parties with a view to the fair
distribution of shares.
- The dispute regarding the ownership of Swanmines between Akam Mining
and Africo's subsidiary must be clarified in order to identify
- Key money is to be negotiated with and paid to Gecamines.
- Swanmines is to submit to the Government a schedule of the visible
impact social actions to be implemented.
- Gecamines must play an active role in the daily management of
In response to the above, Africo Resources confirms that the company
completed a feasibility study on behalf of Swanmines in May, 2006; which was
delivered to Gecamines in accordance with the agreement respecting the
creation of Swanmines. A report prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 has also
been filed on SEDAR.
The feasibility study will now be submitted to the Minister of Mines as
per this new instruction.
In addition, Africo Resources is confident that the work done to date in
respect of the social impact of the project is well-advanced. In October 2007,
Swanmines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DRC's Ministry
for Social Affairs. This is designed to ensure that Swanmines' social
development programs are aligned with local areas of need as identified by the
Ministry. This was the first agreement of this kind to be signed with a mining
company in the Katanga Province and only the second in the DRC. The
Environmental Adjustment Plan (EAP) submitted to government and approved in
April 2007 includes environmental and social management plans designed to
address the key identified impacts of the Kalukundi project.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) entered into a financing
arrangement with Africo Resources in November 2007; this arrangement will
assist in upgrading the environmental and social impact assessments to
international best practise, under IFC's Performance Standards and
Equator Principles. IFC, with other partners, is also helping to establish an
integrated community development program for the project. IFC's assistance on
these issues is expected to have a positive demonstration effect in the
copper-cobalt mining sector in DRC's Katanga province.
Africo Resources CEO, Dr Tony Harwood, said, "We are confident that we
have already addressed some of the items mentioned in the document received
from the Minister of Mines. The discussions will give us further opportunity
to establish our legitimacy at the Kalukundi project and continue the good
work already done on both a community and environmental level, especially
through our partnership with the IFC."
Africo proposes to submit its formal response in respect to the above to
the Minister of Mines as soon as practicable and has already initiated
discussions with the Ministry of Mines in this regard.
Further information will be provided as available.
Note for editors:
Africo Resources Ltd. is a Canadian mineral company, committed to
developing, acquiring and exploring for base metal and gold assets in Africa.
The company's main project is Kalukundi, a development stage copper-cobalt
deposit located in the Katangan Copperbelt in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC). The development team has an operational base in the DRC, with the
company corporate offices located in Vancouver, Canada. The company listed on
the Toronto Stock Exchange in December 2006.
This news release contains certain statements that may be deemed
"forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than
statements of historical fact, that address events or developments that Africo
expects to occur, are forward looking statements. Forward looking statements
are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not
always, identified by the words "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes",
"intends", "estimates", "projects", "potential" and similar expressions, or
that events or conditions "will", "would", "may", "could" or "should" occur.
Although Africo believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking
statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not
guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from
those in forward looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual
results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include
market prices, exploitation and exploration success, continued availability of
capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions.
Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future
performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from
those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements
are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of Africo's management on the
date the statements are made. Other than as required by law, Africo undertakes
no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the event that
management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept
responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information:
For further information: Dr Tony Harwood, President and CEO, on Tel:
+27(11) 463-0081; Chris Theodoropoulos, Chairman, on Tel: (604) 646-3225; Bill
Cavalluzzo, (Investor Relations), on Tel: (416) 265-8049; In South Africa:
Charmane Russell, on Tel +27(11) 880-3924