The government sold the Tolukuma gold mine to a Singapore company, Asidokona, in 2015, for a reported price of K81.35 million. However, Mine Watch can reveal, the government has only ever received K700,000.
Despite Petromin’s claims Asidokona would invest heavily in the mine infrastructure, a new road and restart production, the whole deal looked dodgy from the very start.
Then Mining Minister, Byron Chan, described Asidokona as “reputable, committed” but Asidokona is not a mining company, it is a front for Singaporean speculator, Philip Soh Sai Kiang .
In 2016 Mine Watch revealed that Asidokona was trying to offload the mine for US$ 212 million to a Singapore nightclub company, LifeBrandz. That deal fell through.
All the while the government has been trying to convince landowners that mining will soon recommence and they will benefit handsomely from a new royalties deal as well as the 10% shareholding agreed as part of the 2015 sale.
This was tantamount to bare faced lying by the government, as officials must have known all along that Asidokona had no intention of restarting mining and, indeed, has only ever paid a tiny proportion of the sale price.
According to an audited financial report for Kumul Minerals Holdings Limited, the successor to Petromin, the sale of Tolukuma was completed on 30 November 2015, not for the reported price of K81.35 million, but K26 million.
Even worse, only K700,000 has ever been received and the balance of K25.3 million is still outstanding.
Apparently the buyer, Asidokona, was due to pay a further K16 million on before 31 December, 2016, but never paid. A further K2 million was to be settled by 31 December 2017 and K1.4 million by 31 December 2018.
According to the directors of Kumul Minerals “recovery of the outstanding sales proceeds is considered doubtful” and the debt has been written off.
To cap the sorry saga, Tolukuma Gold Mines has now been liquidated for non payment of its debts.
The Tolukuma landowners have every right to feel they have been betrayed and deceived by government authorities.