ECP, Truffle pay $53m for Moroccan mines

Emerging Capital Partners, in partnership with Truffle Capital, has acquired a third African mining company with its $53 million purchase of Morocco’s Compagnie Miniere de Touissit.

Emerging Capital Partners, the Washington DC-based offshoot of AIG Africa Infrastructure, has teamed with European private equity firm Truffle Capital in the $53 million (€36 million) buyout of Moroccan mining company Compagnie Miniere de Touissit.

The company mines silver-bearing lead and silver-bearing zinc and is ECP’s third such investment: it has previously invested in Anvil Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Senegal’s Mineral Deposits Limited.

CMT mine

“ECP sees enormous potential in the African mining industry, and specifically in CMT,” Hurley Doddy, ECP’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Despite current market volatility, the underlying fundamentals so the global metals market remain strong. World demand for lead is increasing based on demand from China, while supply remains nearly constant due to the slow renewal rate of these natural resources.”

ECP, which recently raised and has nearly fully deployed the largest ever pan-African fund, made its investment via the Moroccan Infrastructure Fund, a vehicle it established in December 2006 in conjunction with Attijari Invest, the private equity arm of Morocco’s largest bank, Attijariwafa Bank. This fund currently has $98 million in commitments from Moroccan, European and Kuwaiti limited partners, according to ECP’s website.

Paris-based Truffle Capital was founded in 2001 to invest in energy, technology and life science spin-outs. The firm has €300 million in capital under management.