Mining

Sipa seeks new partner after Rio Tinto exit

Sipa Resources intends to fly a couple of investors to its Akelikongo nickel sulphide discovery in the Kitgum-Pader area after Uganda lifts its lockdown as the Australian company looks for new partners after the exit of Rio Tinto.
On April 30, Rio Tinto wrote off $4.2 million – pocket change for a company with a market capitalization of $30 billion – that it had spent in exploration costs at the Akelikongo project as it exited a partnership that was in place since 2018.
Rio Tinto’s exit means that its planned investment of $57 million over five years as it sought to own 75 per cent of the Akelikongo project had collapsed.

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Mining officials had seen Rio Tinto’s re-entry into Uganda – the company, one of the largest in the world in terms of its asset base, once operated in the country just over a decade ago – as a vote of confidence in the mining sector.
Now, with the whole shareholding of the project fully reverting to Sipa, the company says it will embark on getting a new partner for what it defines as “one of the most extensive discoveries of nickel sulphide mineralisation in recent years.”
Sipa said a planned site visit to the area, which was slated for April, was called off due to Uganda being under lockdown.

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Deep Earth
Deep Earth International critically examines developments in the extractive and energy sectors in Uganda and the wider East African region. Drawing from the vast experience of its founders who have each covered and written about these sectors for at least fifteen years, this website is the go-to platform for anyone seeking to get a better understanding of the same.

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