Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba has taken a stake in an Ivory Coast gold mine, the latest sign of his increasing engagement in his homeland which is recovering from a decade of crisis that ended in a brief 2011 war.
Drogba, who currently plays for Turkish side Galatasaray after his eight-year stint at Chelsea came to an end last summer, will take a 5 per cent stake in the mine, the west African country’s communications minister Bruno Kone said on Friday.
No financial details were given of the deal, which is part of a transaction involving a Canadian company increasing its stake in the Ity gold mine, while state mining group Sodemi gives up part of its holding.
Ivory Coast sold part of its holding in the mine to a group including Canadian miner La Mancha Resources Inc., Drogba’s company and other private investors, Kone said. Sawiris is the chairman of Montreal-based La Mancha.
La Mancha will now control 55 percent of the mine, an increase from the 45.9 percent it previously held, Kone said. Ivory Coast will 35 percent while private investors hold 10 percent.
Ity, which is in the west of Ivory Coast, has been open since 1991 and had the capacity to produce 31,000 ounces of gold last year, according to La Mancha’s website.