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Hummingbird announces restart at Kouroussa

(Sharecast News) - Hummingbird Resources announced the remobilization of Corica Mining Services at the Kouroussa Gold Mine in Guinea on Friday, after a work stoppage on March 17. The AIM-traded firm said all Corica equipment had been successfully mobilised and arrived on-site, with operations already underway.

An operational plan had been agreed upon and was being implemented, with a full ramp-up to commercial production anticipated by the beginning of the third quarter.

The board said the plan would be supported by the additional ETASI fleet, which was currently being mobilised and was expected to arrive at the site in the coming weeks.

It said the remobilisation agreement also included a framework for negotiating and resolving key disputes, including claims under the mining contract.

In a move to ensure the continuity of operations during such a critical phase, Hummingbird said its largest shareholder, CIG, had agreed to provide a short-term loan of $10m.

The loan would be disbursed in tranches, was unsecured, and bore an interest rate of 14% per annum.

It said the maturity date was set for 30 September, with the possibility of extension by mutual agreement.

Additionally, Hummingbird said it was in ongoing discussions with its primary lender, Coris Bank International, to address the financial impacts of the recent suspension of operations.

The firm said it planned to provide further updates as the discussions progressed.

"The agreement to remobilise Corica at Kouroussa demonstrates a commitment from both parties in finding a practical solution to the ongoing disputes," said chief executive officer Dan Betts.

"I am hopeful that this provides the framework for constructive discussions to resolve and re-base our relationship with Corica.

"Our ongoing discussions with Coris, together with CIG's support, provide us with a platform to enable a smooth transition back to full operations at Kouroussa."

Betts said Corica's return to work would enable the company to increase the mining of higher-grade material, and accelerate its plans to reach its 200,000 ounces per annum production profile over the coming months.

"The momentum this brings reiterates our confidence in the strong future ahead for the Kouroussa project.

"Clearly this has been a time of stress for the company, and I would like to thank everybody involved both within Hummingbird and the many stakeholders and suppliers and partners who have been so patient, resilient and diligent in working through this situation."

At 1531 BST, shares in Hummingbird Resources were up 8.24% at 10.18p.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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