. Asanko Gold further strengthens balance sheet
(All dollar amounts are United States dollars unless otherwise stated)
VANCOUVER, Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - Asanko Gold Inc. ("Asanko" or the "Company") (TSX, NYSE American: AKG) is pleased to announce that it has received the final $10 million payment from Gold Fields Limited ("Gold Fields") pursuant to the Joint Venture Agreement which was concluded on July 31, 2018 whereby Asanko and Gold Fields became 50:50 joint venture partners of the Asanko Gold Mine ("AGM"), located in Ghana, West Africa, which is operated by Asanko. This $10 million payment completes the receipt by Asanko of the gross proceeds of $185 million associated with the 50:50 Joint Venture Agreement.
In addition, with the significant capital expenditure program completed at the AGM and the operations continuing to generate positive free cashflow, the AGM has commenced returning invested capital to the joint venture partners. The distribution in Q4 amounted to a total of $20 million with $10 million paid to Asanko and $10 million paid to Gold Fields. It is expected that loan repayments going forward may be made quarterly subject to certain liquidity tests.
"The combination of these two transactions has significantly bolstered Asanko's balance sheet and we anticipate finishing the year with approximately $35 million in cash and receivables, with no debt," said Greg McCunn, Chief Executive Officer. "We are pleased to see a return of our invested capital following a significant multi-year period of capital investment at the AGM. With improved confidence in the free cash flow generation of the mine together with our balanced approach to capital allocation, we have commenced returning a portion of excess corporate cash to shareholders through a normal course issuer bid which we announced in November."
The normal course issuer bid ("NCIB") which allows the Company to purchase up to 11,310,386 common shares, representing 5% of Asanko's then issued and outstanding common shares (226,207,730 common shares), commenced on November 15, 2019. To date the Company has purchased 0.9 million shares at the market price at the time of acquisition in accordance with the rules and policies of the TSX and NYSE American and applicable securities laws. Refer to the press release dated November 12, 2019 "Asanko Gold Receives TSX Approval for Normal Course Issuer Bid" for further details on the NCIB.
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Asanko Yesterday Vol. 293.600
closing C$ 1,19 +11 11cents.