Cluff shuts Ivory Coast mine

City A.M. Reporter
CLUFF Gold, the Aim-listed miner, has suspended operations at its Angovia mine in Ivory Coast due to shortages of fuel, explosives, cement and cyanide and will not reopen it until political stability returns.

Ivory Coast has been in turmoil since a disputed November election that threatens to rekindle the West African state’s 2002 civil war, and has already drastically cut exports from the world’s top cocoa producer.

“The Angovia mine will remain on care and maintenance until Cote d’Ivoire [Ivory Coast] returns to the level of political stability required for restarting operations,” the London-listed miner said in a statement to the stock market yesterday.

Angovia, one of two producing gold mines operated by Cluff Gold in western Africa, had been targeting production this year of 25,000 ounces of gold, up from around 20,000 ounces in 2010.

The mine is smaller than its Kalska operations in Burkina Faso, which are aiming to produce 70,000 ounces of gold this year.

It is also exploring in Sierra Leone where it hopes its Baomahun project can produce 157,000 ounces of gold a year.

The company, which has a market value of around £160m, said its growth strategy remained on track and that operations in Burkina Faso were on target.

“Although our gold production will be affected until we can reopen the [Angovia] mine, we are confident that the shortfall in production will be minimal and will have a limited effect on our overall budgeted cashflow for the year,” it said.

Cluff’s shares fell 9.7 per cent to close at 109p on Aim yesterday. Its Toronto-listed shares were flat.