London-based Goldplat is protesting against a licence awarded to Chinese firm Bao Gold Hill Limited, to prospect for gold in Migori, an area estimated to be about six square kilometres.
Goldplat’s local subsidiary, Kilimapesa Gold revealed that the zone was hived off from its turf and it has the right to prospect for precious metal in bloc 91B covering 63.7 kilometres, part of which was handed to Boa in August 2018. In a statement released to Business Daily Kenya, the company said “Kilimapesa facilitated the subdivision of the whole of Moyoi Group ranch indicated on the map into individual titles on the understanding that the company had consent over the whole area covered by the ranch”.
According to a mine resource map, the area awarded to Bao is in the shape of a square at the lower end of a larger zone claimed by Goldplat. The UK firm said it will not carry out exploration until the “issue has been resolved and confirmation has been received that no part of the initial exploration licence has been taken away without compensation”.
The dispute comes at a time when Goldplat is awaiting the fate of its application for a renewal of its exploration licence, that will allow it to explore its operations beyond Kilimapesa Hill; an area untouched by Bao’s licence, where the company currently mines gold reserves estimated at 532,000 ounces valued at 64.4 billion Shillings.
The Bao licence might spook investors who the company has approached to inject capital into the Kilimapesa, in exchange for a stake in their operations.