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The shoes of Pan African Resources’ COO melted shortly after he stepped out to inspect the firm’s recently acquired exploration prospect in Sudan.

“The temperatures outside were running at about 50°C. The soles of his shoes literally fell off,” says the firm’s CEO of eight years, Cobus Loots. Scrolling through his smartphone gallery, Loots shows a scene consisting of sky, an expanse of sand and some dark, ragged hills in the distance. “There’s nothing around,” says Loots. Except tons of gold, it should be added...

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