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Coking Coal Mining in Zimbabwe and Gold Mining in Mali with Carl Esprey

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In this episode, we chat to Carl Esprey, Executive Director of Contango Holdings who have a large stake in the Lubu Coal Project which is a high-value coking coal project in Zimbabwe and also has their Garalo gold project in Mali.


Carl is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst and has a long career in the natural resource investment and development sector. He gives us an overview of both projects and a better understanding of the coking coal sector.




  • Recently there´s been strong price movement within the commodity complex in general.
  • Contango started out looking at assets that were not greenfield assets.
  • In particular, projects that have resource statements and some sort of mine scoping study.
  • With bulk minerals, Contango only opens mines when they have secured a demonstrable offtake agreement.
  • CoVid has made it hard for people to visit assets, which has slowed the rate at which deals can be closed.
  • Demand for coking coal is strong.
  • In some mines, it is now possible to mine just the coking coal. Instead of having to move and backfill the thermal coal too.
  • The Garalo gold project is probably way bigger than initially thought.
  • Garalo is being studied in more detail. At which point, they will tell the market more and decide what size mill to build.
  • No royalty agreements will be signed until the size of the resource is fully understood.
  • They are hoping to pick up neighbouring properties in the vicinity of Garalo.



‘In the case of bulk minerals, like coal, we won´t build mines until we have a demonstrable offtake agreement. ´

‘Coking coal is up about 35% since we listed.’

‘You want to build a large mill and feed it all in from satellite deposits.’











Rob Tyson is the Founder and Director of Mining International Ltd, a leading global recruitment and headhunting consultancy based in the UK specialising in all areas of mining across the globe from first world to third world countries from Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia. We source, headhunt, and discover new and top talent through a targeted approach and search methodology and have a proven track record in sourcing and positioning exceptional candidates into our clients' organisations in any mining discipline or level. Mining International provides a transparent, informative, and trusted consultancy service to our candidates and clients to help them develop their careers and business goals and objectives in this ever-changing marketplace.





Podcast Description


Rob Tyson is an established recruiter in the mining and quarrying sector and decided to produce the “Dig Deep” The Mining Podcast to provide valuable and informative content around the mining industry. He has a passion and desire to promote the industry and the podcast aims to offer the mining community an insight into people’s experiences and careers covering any mining discipline, giving the listeners helpful advice and guidance on industry topics.

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