SBS 0.00% 2.9¢ sub-sahara resources nl

eritrea wants to talk....

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    From Reuters
    Wednesday, January 5, 2005

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- After four months
    of silence, Eritrea has asked to meet with Nevsun
    and Sub-Sahara Resources NL, two gold exploration
    companies it unexpectedly ordered to halt operations
    in the East African country in September.

    Nevsun and Sub-Sahara received letters on Wednesday
    from Eritrea's mines and energy minister commending
    them on their patience and co-operation and inviting
    them to Asmara.

    Nevsun stock jumped 36 percent to C$2.90 and shares
    in Sunridge Gold Corp., Sub-Sahara's partner, soared
    67 percent to C$1.12 after the news as investors bet
    that they would be allowed to resume work.

    Nevsun said its chief executive would go to Eritrea in
    the week of Jan 10. The company had been exploring
    the Bisha gold deposit there, a find that had excited

    "The request for a meeting from the minister is very
    encouraging," Nevsun said in a statement. A
    spokeswoman said the company had no further
    information on an agenda for the meeting and that
    CEO John Clarke knew nothing more despite repeated
    visits to Eritrea.

    Without giving any explanation, Eritrea told all foreign
    mineral exploration companies to suspend work on
    their projects on Sept. 2, news that sent their shares

    Nevsun's stock lost 67 percent last year, mostly
    because of the Eritrea ban, causing it to drop out of
    the S&P/TSX gold index in December.

    Eritrea, wedged between Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti
    on the Red Sea coast, has seen only brief periods of
    peace since a 32-year war for independence with
    Ethiopia ended in 1991.

    Industry observers have speculated that the country
    might want to ensure it benefits more from its mineral
    wealth, especially when the gold price is at its best
    level 16 years.


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