African Minerals names new CEO, gets $248 mln cash injection

Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:49pm EDT

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Aug 15 (Reuters) - Sierra Leone-focused miner African Minerals named a new chief executive and said it had obtained $248 million in cash through an agreement with China's Shandong Iron and Steel Group (Shandong).

Shares in African Minerals have lost about 90 percent of their value this year due to lower iron ore prices, the ebola crisis in West Africa and difficulties in raising new funding.

The London-listed company said on Friday it had reached an agreement with Shandong, its partner on the Tonkolili project in Sierra Leone, to obtain $284 million that had been earmarked for the second phase of the project's expansion.

"Both shareholders have agreed to access the funds in the Hong Kong joint project account ... not only for construction capital, but also for general working capital purposes, with immediate effect," African Minerals said in a statement.

In agreeing to allow access to the funds, however, Shandong requested some changes in management.

African Minerals announced the appointment of Alan Watling as its new chief executive after the resignation Bernard Pryor. (Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by Jane Baird)

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