The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's financing institution, is advancing a EUR 30 million (1) loan to Managem for the development of a gold mine in the Western flank of the Atlas foothills. The promoter of the project is Akka Gold Mining, a Managem subsidiary, which is engaged in the extraction of gold-bearing deposits for production of gold bars.

The project concerns prospection, engineering, installation and working of an underground mine producing gold ore, together with all the necessary ore treatment plant and infrastructure. The capacity of the mine and the treatment plant will be about 1,500 gross tonnes of ore per day, leading to production of around 3 tonnes of gold per year.

The financing plan envisaged by the Bank and Proparco (part of the Agence Française de Développement Group) will provide resources well suited to the type of project to be financed, in terms of duration. The project is also underpinned by a contribution from the banking sector, which will provide the commercial guarantee for the Bank's loan.

Although current national legislation does not provide for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) to be carried out, Managem has made such an assessment for the AKKA project in compliance with international standards. The promoter has undertaken to adopt the best possible technical solutions as far as the environment is concerned, and the project's environmental impact has been judged by the EIB to be acceptable.

The Akka project falls within the scope of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership policy defined by the EU's Member States. 

The European Investment Bank, the European Union's financing institution, is a lead player in implementing the EU's "Euro-Mediterranean Partnership". In this context, a mandate has been handed down to the EIB for the period 2000-2007 to provide up to EUR 6 425 million of funding in the EU's twelve Mediterranean Partner Countries. Since 1979, the EIB has made available more than EUR 1 500 million for projects of major importance to the Moroccan economy, such as drinking water provision, the EU-Morocco power grid interconnection (achieved by laying a submarine cable under the Strait of Gibraltar), high-voltage electricity transmission facilities within Morocco itself, including power supplies to rural areas, improvements to the trunk and international telephone networks as well as large-scale water management schemes (sewerage and sewage disposal, irrigation of farmland in the Upper Doukkala plain, Haouz etc.). More recently, the EIB has provided finance for modernisation of railway trucks and for development of rural roads in the north of Morocco. The EIB has also promoted small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing and cooperative sectors through global loans to commercial banks, targeted mainly at fostering Moroccan/European joint ventures. 

(1)1 EUR: 0.61 GBP ; 9.79 MAD