African Business

Avanti appoints mining veteran Jonah as chair, acquires gold prospect in Botswana


Canada-listed Avanti Gold has appointed Sir Samuel Jonah as director and chairperson of the company, at a time when the company is exploring a stretch of newly acquired prospective terrain in Botswana.

Jonah has made valuable contributions to the mining sector in Africa, including as former president of the gold mine AngloGold Ashanti and has served on the boards of companies such as Moto Gold Mines, Vodafone Group, Standard Bank Group, Roscan Gold and Bank of America Corporation’s Global Advisory Council.

He is currently also chairperson of telecoms infrastructure company Helios Towers.

In particular, Jonah helped transform the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation into a mining multinational since he joined the corporation in 1979. The company managed to increase gold production from 240,000 oz/y to more than 1.6 million ounces a year in ten years, before merging with AngloGold.

Jonah contributed to the listing of Ashanti Goldfields on the NYSE, which was the first operating African company to list on the exchange.

He also helped to build Uramin from a start-up Aim-listed junior mining company to a major uranium producer that was sold for $ 2.4 billion – in less than 24 months.

Notably, Jonah was the first Ghanaian to be knighted in the twenty-first century when he was presented with an honorary knighthood in recognition of his achievements as an African businessman and international public figure.

He was elected as a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2018, owing to his distinguished leadership and technical contributions to engineering in the African mineral industry.

Meanwhile, Avanti has entered into a share exchange agreement with a privately held company called MTM, which is based in Seychelles, through which Avanti aims to acquire all the outstanding share capital of the company.

MTM holds the rights to prospecting gold licences in the District of Molopo, in the highly prospective Kraaipan Granite-Greenstone Belt that extends from southern Botswana into South Africa’s North West province. The licence rights cover an area of about 90 ha in the overall 400-km-long belt.

Avanti will issue 29 million common shares to the shareholders of MTM, and the transaction will not constitute a fundamental change for Avanti or result in a change of control of Avanti.

Avanti is also working to develop the tier-one gold asset, Misisi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, located in the South Kovu province. The project currently has a contained inferred mineral resource of three million ounces of gold.


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