This qualification represents the successful completion of phase 1 of the Company's strategy, being developed in conjunction with Gold's strategic partner, Minmet plc ("Minmet") for a number of Central and South American countries (the "Territories"). Minmet is an Irish registered natural resource company whose shares are traded on AIM and on Dublin's IEX.
Following the securing of the required qualification from ONRM, Gold has commenced negotiations with Cubapetroleo (Cupet), the state oil company of Cuba, for a Production Sharing Contract ("PSC") over a number of targeted blocks which have been identified by Gold and Minmet.
Under the terms of agreements finalized between Gold and Minmet in February 2007, Gold is contracted to act as technical operator on behalf of Minmet, as the investor, in potential oil and gas properties in the Territories.
Gold holds a 24.67 percent interest in Minmet through a share placing and a share exchange. Minmet is well financed and debt free following a rationalization and monetization of its mineral portfolio over the past 18 months and has earmarked significant working capital for investment in the Territories dependant upon securing prospective acreage and favorable PSC terms.
Gary Moore, Gold's Chief Executive, commented: "This is a very important step for the Gold/Minmet strategic partnership as securing qualification as an operator is a significant milestone towards achieving a PSC in the highly prospective Cuban oil and gas fields. It is getting increasingly difficult for smaller sized oil and gas players to qualify for operatorship for any oil and gas exploration and development projects and this achievement gives both Gold and Minmet a considerable advantage in securing identified highly prospective acreage."
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