The chief executive of Acacia Mining says its exploration project in Kenya will become a “multi-million ounce” gold mine that could open up gold mining in the country.

Speaking after Acacia announced its full-year results earlier today, Brad Gordon said:

Africa is the richest continent in the world for mineral deposits, it amazes me that during the cycles there continues to be opportunities to expand ground positions in very prospective belts. We’re in a position where we can do that, many of the juniors don’t have the wherewithal to ride those cycles like producers do.

Acacia said on Tuesday it plans to declare an initial inferred resource of 1m ounces of gold at a grade of around 10 grams per tonne at its project in Kenya’s Liranda corridor. The project is likely to be in feasibility studies by 2018, with production still several years away, Mr. Gordon said.

Tanzania-focused Acacia has continued to spend money on exploration despite a five-year decline in gold prices from a peak of over $1,900 a troy ounce in 2011 to $1,229 today. It also hopes other projects to come out of exploration in Burkina Faso and Mali “this year and next,” Mr. Gordon said.

The company, which is majority owned by Canada’s Barrick Gold, is currently in talks with Canada’s Endeavour Mining over a £3bn merger. Mr. Gordon declined to comment further on those discussions.

Acacia said it would boost its gold production at its Buzwagi mine by 40 per cent this year. Its shares rose 6 per cent in morning trading in London to 493p.

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