African Minerals suffers set-back in Sierra Leone

David Hellier
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AFRICAN Minerals. the Aim-listed iron ore and base metals miner chaired by entrepreneur Frank Timis, yesterday signalled a delay in the formation of a joint venture company that is working on a massive development project in Sierra Leone.

The group issued a statement saying that its memorandum of understanding for a $1.5bn (£957m) investment in the Tonkolili project by China’s Shandong Iron & Steel Group had been amended.

As a consequence of the renewed terms, African Minerals will get the first part of its payment – $800m– three months later than originally planned. Other stages in the joint venture process are also being put back.

Timis said:?“Both parties have been working hard to complete the due diligence and finalise workable terms.”

Numis Securities analyst Cailey Baxter said the news was a disappointment, but that deals with Chinese firms are often delayed.