06. March 2020 | 10:21 CET
Barrick Gold, Desert Gold Ventures, Teranga Gold - a pure M&A play
The West of Africa is rich in raw materials. Well-known companies are present in Senegal and Mali and are exploring for gold deposits there. In 2018, Mali produced the fourth largest quantity of gold in all of Africa, with more than 2 million ounces. In addition to producers, exploration companies are also active there and are exploring the geology through appropriate drilling. Usually, the aim of these often smaller companies is to explore a portfolio of areas for deposits in order to subsequently sell them to producers if successful. A perfect environment for mergers and acquisitions.
time to read: 1 minutes by Mario Hose
"[...] Our SMSZ project is the largest contiguous land package of any exploration company in the region at 400km2 and overlays a 38km portion of the prolific Senegal Mali Shear Zone. [...]" Jared Scharf, CEO, Desert Gold Ventures Inc.
Diversified global player
Barrick Gold is one of the most renowned commodity companies with areas around the globe. The company has made numerous acquisitions in the past, such as the acquisition of its former competitor Randgold, which has allowed Barrick to grow significantly. In connection with acquisitions, it is not uncommon for the buyer to subsequently resell projects in order to focus on the core and refinance the previous purchase price. As the company announced this week, Barrick has sold the Massawa Project in Senegal to Teranga Gold.
Barrick received CAD 300 million in cash and the equivalent of CAD 80 million in shares from Teranga Gold. In addition, a performance component was agreed upon, through which Barrick may receive up to an additional CAD 50 million depending on the future price of gold. The market value of Barrick is currently approximately CAD 49 billion.
Expansion of reserves through acquisition
Teranga Gold is active in West Africa in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. The company operates mines in Senegal and Burkina Faso and four exploration projects in Ivory Coast. The Sabodala Mine in Senegal fits with Barrick's recent acquisition of the Massawa area. Sabodala contains approximately 2.19 million ounces of gold and is expected to be mined in 13 years. For this reason, acquisitions make sense from the perspective of the company and investors. Teranga currently has a market capitalization of over CAD 780 million.
Desert Gold Ventures with takeover potential
The exploration company Desert Gold Ventures has a project located in the region of Teranga's Sabodala Mine, but in neighbouring Mali. Geologically speaking, there are similarities and in this context, the company's drilling results will certainly be evaluated by the producers in the region. It can be assumed that from a critical amount of proven gold deposits onwards, the interest in Desert Gold will increase dramatically.
The company has an area of around 400 square kilometres, which could become a significant value driver in connection with the expansion of the deposits. The market value of Desert Gold Ventures is approximately CAD 13 million. In light of the increasing importance of the region in West Africa, the company's potential is correspondingly high.