Gold Fields, a South African-based multinational gold producer, has successfully sold its 45% interest in the Asanko mine located in Ghana to Toronto-Stock Exchange-listed joint venture partner Galiano Gold. The deal, valued at $170 million (R3.1 billion), will be settled through a combination of cash and shares.

The Asanko mine, in which both Gold Fields and Galiano Gold previously held 45% each, with the remaining stake owned by the government of Ghana, is home to the Nkran deposit, a significant asset in the region. As part of the transaction, Gold Fields will also secure a 1% net smelter royalty on future production from the Nkran deposit, ensuring a continued financial interest in the mine’s ongoing success.

Interim CEO Martin Preece emphasized the necessity of consolidated ownership for the future success of the Asanko mine. “It is clear that the committed path forward for the Asanko mine requires consolidated ownership,” Preece stated in a recent press release. He further explained that the divestment aligns with Gold Fields’ disciplined portfolio management process, allowing the company to release capital for deployment in line with its broader capital allocation priorities.

The decision to sell its stake in the Asanko mine comes as part of Gold Fields’ ongoing efforts to optimize its portfolio and focus on key strategic priorities. Preece, who has been serving as interim CEO, will step down in January to make way for the incoming CEO, Mike Fraser, whose appointment was announced in October.

The move to divest from the Asanko mine follows a significant leadership change in 2022 when former CEO Chris Griffith resigned following the failure to acquire Canada’s Yamana Gold. The deal, which was heavily criticized, would have propelled Gold Fields into the fourth position among the world’s leading gold producers.

Despite the challenges, Gold Fields’ shares showed resilience, trading 0.44% higher at R299.80 in late morning trade on Friday. The company’s stock has experienced a remarkable upward trajectory, registering a gain of approximately 68% year-to-date.

As Galiano Gold takes on a more substantial stake in the Asanko mine, industry observers are keenly watching how this strategic move will impact the overall dynamics of the mine’s operations and its role in the broader gold mining landscape in Ghana.