Soto Norte has a large resource base with additional significant resource upside potential.
Mubadala Investment Company announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Aris Gold Corporation (Aris Gold) for the operation of the Soto Norte Gold Project in Colombia, one of the world’s largest feasibility-stage gold projects.
Through a joint venture (JV) company, Aris Gold will acquire a 20 per cent ownership interest in Sociedad Minera de Santander SAS and Sociedad Minera Calvista Colombia (collectively, Minesa).
Aris Gold has an option to acquire a further 30 per cent ownership interest in Minesa. Minesa is the 100 per cent owner of the Soto Norte gold project. Soto Norte has a large resource base with additional significant resource upside potential, and the project has the potential to be a large scale, low cost, underground gold mining operation.
As operator, Aris Gold Chief Executive officer (CEO) Neil Woodyer will be appointed CEO of Minesa and lead the preparation of the company’s operational license application.
Aris Gold will use its position as an established member of the Colombian mining industry to ensure the Soto Norte project operates at the highest international sustainability standards.
Commenting on the announcement, Executive Director, Industrials at Mubadala and Chairman of Minesa, Danny Dweik, said, “We are delighted to bring in Aris Gold as our operating partner in Minesa.
The Soto Norte Project will benefit from their technical capabilities and local market experience, and we look forward to working with them and the project’s local communities to bring this world-class project to fruition.”
On closing, Aris Gold and Mubadala will enter into a comprehensive agreement to govern the joint venture company through which environmental licensing, project development, and mine operation will be undertaken.
Earlier on Monday Mubadala Petroleum, the Abu Dhabi headquartered international energy company, has successfully commenced first gas production from the Pegaga gas field in Block SK 320, offshore Malaysia.
This milestone marks the safe and successful culmination of a challenging gas project, during a period in which Mubadala Petroleum navigated the challenges of the global pandemic. As a key strategic development for the local energy sector, Pegaga will be a key producing field supplying gas to PETRONAS LNG Complex, in Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Mansoor Mohamed Al Hamed, CEO of Mubadala Petroleum, commented, “The Pegaga achievement is a landmark for Mubadala Petroleum. Having taken this project from discovery to development and now into production with the support of Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), PETRONAS, our partners and contractors, this demonstrates our deep capabilities, resilience and commitment as an energy provider. With our strategic focus on gas as a key bridge fuel in the energy transition, this achievement reflects our ambition for the future as a long-term investor and strategic energy partner.”
PETRONAS Senior Vice President of Malaysia Petroleum Management, Mohamed Firouz Asnan said, “On behalf of PETRONAS, I would like to congratulate Mubadala Petroleum and their partners on achieving this key milestone, as the Pegaga field is well positioned to significantly contribute towards sustaining Malaysia’s gas supply for many decades to come.”
“The project, which undertook its Final Investment Decision at the time when the oil market was still recovering in 2018, demonstrates the confidence of investors in Malaysia’s upstream industry. The country’s ecosystem also proved its resiliency with the successful design and fabrication of facilities completed during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
Mubadala Petroleum has been present in Malaysia since 2010 and is the Operator of Block SK 320 with a 55 per cent interest.
PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of PETRONAS holds 25 per cent, with Sarawak Shell Berhad holding the remaining 20 per cent interest.
The Pegaga gas field is located in the Central Luconia province, offshore Sarawak, Malaysia at about 108-meter water depth. The development concept comprises of an Integrated Central Processing Platform (ICPP) consisting of an 8-legged jacket. The facility is designed for gas throughput of 550 million standard cubic feet of gas per day plus condensate.
The produced gas will be evacuated through a new 4 KM, 38-inch subsea pipeline tying into an existing offshore gas network and subsequently to the onshore PETRONAS LNG Complex in Bintulu.
At the height of the pandemic in Malaysia, the jacket and wellhead deck which were constructed in Lumut and Kuching fabrication yards, were installed in April 2020 followed by the Pegaga Development Drilling campaign. The Integrated Central Processing Platform float-over and installation was then safely completed in August 2021.