Hummingbird says Corica restarts operations at Kouroussa

Aim-listed Hummingbird Resources has reported the remobilisation of mining services…

Aim-listed Hummingbird Resources has reported the remobilisation of mining services provider Corica Mining Services at the Kouroussa gold mine, in Guinea.

Corica in March suspended work at the mine following a dispute with Hummingbird about certain payments, which it believed it was due.

Hummingbird says it and Corica have agreed to remobilise Corica equipment to site and continue the ramp-up in operations towards commercial production at Kouroussa.

It notes that all Corica equipment has been mobilised and arrived at site, with operations having already begun.

Hummingbird says an agreed operational plan is being implemented by Corica and is anticipated to fully ramp up by the beginning of the third quarter this year. The plan will be augmented by the previously announced additional ETASI fleet, which is currently being mobilised, and is expected at site over the coming weeks.

Hummingbird explains that the agreement between the parties to remobilise outlines a framework for negotiating and resolving key disputes, including the parties’ respective claims under the terms of the mining contract.

The company also notes that, as part of ongoing efforts to mitigate risk around its working capital position, CIG SA, the company’s largest shareholder, has agreed to provide a $10-million loan to the company in order to ensure continuity of operations during this ramp-up phase.

The CIG loan will be provided in tranches, is unsecured, attracts interest at a rate of 14% a year and has a maturity date of September 30, which can be extended by mutual agreement.

The company remains in discussions with its primary lender, Coris Bank International, surrounding the mitigation of the financial impacts of the suspension in operation and will provide an update in due course.

“The agreement to remobilise Corica at Kouroussa demonstrates a commitment from both parties in finding a practical solution to the ongoing disputes. I am hopeful that this provides the framework for constructive discussions to resolve and re-base our relationship with Corica,” says Hummingbird CEO Dan Betts.

“Our ongoing discussions with Coris, together with CIG’s support, provide us with a platform to enable a smooth transition back to full operations at Kouroussa.

“Corica’s return to work will allow Hummingbird to increase the mining of the higher-grade material and accelerate our plans to reach our 200 000 oz/y production profile over the coming months. The momentum this brings reiterates our confidence in the strong future ahead for the Kouroussa project,” he adds.

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