Chinese firm and London-based Goldplat embroiled in bitter dispute over gold prospects worth $170 million in Kenya

The UK firm has threaten to sue to government.

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  • The Kenyan government awarded Chinese firm Bao Gold Hill (Kenya) licence to prospect for gold in an area estimated at six square kilometres in Migori which London-based Goldplat claims the zone was hived off from its turf.
  • The area is estimated to have gold reserves worth nearly Sh17 billion.

This is after the Kenyan government awarded Chinese firm Bao Gold Hill (Kenya) licence to prospect for gold in an area estimated at six square kilometres in Migori which London-based Goldplat claims the zone was hived off from its turf sparking the dispute.

Through its local subsidiary Kilimapesa, Goldplat says it has the right to prospect for the precious metal in bloc 91B covering 63.7 square kilometres, part of which was handed to Bao in August.

“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,” the company told a local business daily in a statement.

The UK firm has said it will not carry out any further 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.”

Should the government fail to address the issue, Goldplat has threaten to sue to government.

Bao’s special prospecting licence given as PL/2018/0072 covers an area in the shape of a square at the lower end of the larger zone claimed by Goldplat.

The area is estimated to have gold reserves worth nearly Sh17 billion.

Kilimapesa operations in South Western Kenya covers the Kilimapesa Hill, an area untouched by Bao’s licence,  where it is currently mining gold reserves estimated at 532,000 ounces valued at Sh64.4 billion.

It is worth noting that the dispute comes at a time when Goldplat is also awaiting the fate of its application for a renewal of its exploration licence that will allow it to expand its operations beyond Kilimapesa Hill.

The dispute risks spooking prospective investors whom the London-based Goldplat has approached to inject new capital in Kilimapesa in exchange for an unspecified stake in the Kenyan operation.

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