Danakali Ltd (ASX:DNK) (LON:DNK) (OTCMKTS:SBMSF) has added two Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) nominees to its board of directors following AFC’s US$50 million strategic equity investment.

AFC’s president and CEO Samaila D Zubairu and senior director for Investment Operations & Execution Taiwo Adeniji are joining Danakali’s board as non-executive directors with immediate effect.

This comes at an important time for the company, adding experience to the board and support to the Colluli Sulphate of Potash Project in Eritrea, as it moves closer to construction and production, which is expected to be in 2022.

Strategic investment

As part of its strategic investment in Danakali and overall funding package for development and construction of Colluli, AFC was granted the right to nominate up to two directors to the board.

Danakali’s chief executive officer Niels Wage said: “We are pleased to welcome Samaila and Taiwo, whose diverse background and developmental focus will add further value to the board.”

AFC “a great supporter”

He said: “AFC has been a great supporter of our project, and we look forward to working with them as we progress the development of Colluli and our overall funding strategy.”

The AFC is Africa’s leading infrastructure solutions provider created to help mobilise and channel required capital towards driving Africa’s economic development.

It is a multilateral financial institution covering three complementary service areas – project development, financial advisory and principal investing.

In addition to these core services, AFC has significant experience and expertise in project management.

Experienced executive

Before becoming AFC president and CEO Zubairu was CEO of Africapital Management Limited, where he established a JV with Old Mutual’s African Infrastructure Investment managers to develop a fund for infrastructure private equity across West Africa, and chief financial officer for Dangote Cement Plc.

He is an Eisenhower Fellow and sits on the Eisenhower Fellowship’s Global Network Council and the President’s Advisory Council.

As well, he holds several non-executive board positions including being the advisory board member for KSE Africa, a leading operations and management provider of captive power plants in the mining sectors in Botswana and Nigeria.

Finance experience

In his AFC role, Adeniji has responsibility, amongst other things, for the institution’s investments in oil & gas, and mining projects.

He has had more than 26 years of post-graduate and extensive professional and managerial experience in several areas of banking and finance.

Adeniji has deep knowledge and extensive experience with infrastructure and mining policy issues, as well as the analysis, evaluation and financing of infrastructure and mining projects.

This has seen him supervise AFC’s investments in mining projects spanning different products, including gold, copper, bauxite, and iron ore, as well as different geographies, including countries in West, North and Central Africa.

“Committed to Danakali”

Zubairu said: “Taiwo and I look forward to working with Danakali to advance the Colluli potash project in Eritrea.

“AFC is a long-term and committed investor of both Danakali and indeed Eritrea, and we will help assess the best way forward in taking the Colluli project to its next phase of development.

“AFC fully recognises that the current market conditions provide significant challenges, yet this is a project for the long-term development of Eritrea, and one which Taiwo and I look forward to working closely with our fellow directors at Danakali to deliver.”

The Colluli SOP Project is 100%-owned by the Colluli Mining Share Company (CMSC), a 50:50 joint venture between Danakali and the Eritrean National Mining Corporation (ENAMCO).

It is in the Danakil Depression region of Eritrea, East Africa, and is about 75 kilometres from the Red Sea coast, making it one of the most accessible potash deposits globally.

Mineralisation within the Colluli resource commences at just 16 metres, making it the world’s shallowest known potash deposit.