Cassius sinks as it persists with Ghana government stoush alleging Chinese gold theft

  • Cassius Mining shares are down nearly -70% on the latest news regarding its stoush with Ghana
  • Cassius alleges a Chinese mining company stole gold from its underground mine and that Ghana knew
  • The case is set to be heard at the London Court of International Arbitration
  • However, Ghana still has time to object, likely explaining the microcap’s share price drop to 1c

Rarely do I get to write a headline this interesting. If you want to see how messy things can get for an Australian miner in Africa, look no further than Cassius Mining (ASX:CMD).

The company stands embroiled in a legal battle set to be heard at the London Court of International Arbitration between itself and the government of Ghana.

Just wait, because this isn’t even the real meat of the story.

On Thursday, the company confirmed it has been told by the court to consult with representatives of Ghana’s government to agree upon a timeline for each side to discuss the “merits” of their respective positions.

Both parties must do this within the next two weeks should they wish to go to a court-linked Tribunal.

In turn, Cassius shares tumbled nearly -68% as the company announced the update – for context, its shares have gone from 3c to 1c.

And all that’s already sensational enough.

But then there’s another aspect to this case, or, the real nature of the matter.

Cassius alleges a Chinese mining company, Shaanxi Mining, stole millions of dollars worth of gold from Cassius in an underground heist on-site a neighbouring project that has been hit with allegations of dodgy dealings – first and foremost, an appalling safety record and indifference towards dead African miners.

Allegedly, Shaanxi broke the rules when it dug underground to meet Cassius’s own underground tunnels, despite the fact it had no authority to dig in this area. That’s the simplest way to put it.

Then there’s the claim from Cassius that Shaanxi placed explosives inside Cassius’s tunnels as a psychological intimidation tactic. Normal claims of normal behaviour.

Eventually, Cassius jostled with the Ghanaian regulator enough that it was allowed to access Shaanxi’s mine, just to check that everything was Kosher, and Cassius representatives have claimed they stumbled upon an illegally constructed sophisticated Chinese mining operation going well into territory that Cassius had rights to.

If this isn’t one of the more interesting ASX stories you’ve read about, I’d like to know what else you’re reading.

So then why is Cassius taking Ghana to court?

The company alleges Ghana’s relevant government authorities knew what was going on, and then fiddled with mining permits and boundaries to jig the play in Shaanxi’s favour.

This case has been the subject of intense media scrutiny, to such extent The Sydney Morning Herald ran an investigation around Cassius and its claims of theft.

The name of that investigative special was called “Blood Gold.” The masthead wrote 11 stories on the matter.

Cassius hasn’t avoided scrutiny either. The company received flak for setting up a mine in a deeply troubled region of Ghana in the first place, a nation in West Africa.

The reputation of Cassius Mining’s C-Suite and investors has also been called into question by the Australian press in the past.

For now, the case continues to bumble along to a full-fledged hearing, where Cassius stands to make over US$270M should it be found that Shaanxi wronged the company by stealing gold from land it had rights to.

Shareholders are likely nervous that might not actually eventuate, given that Ghana still has time to file objections to the case being heard at all.

Definitely one of the more eyebrow-raising periods of ASX resources history.

CMD shares last at 1cps.

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