KEFI Minerals plc (LON:KEFI) Exective Chairman Harry Anagnostaras-Adams talks to DirectorsTalk about mandating its bond arranger for the placement of US$160 million of Listed Infrastructure Bonds. Harry explains how this fits in with the overall funding of the Tulu Kapi project, the next steps involved to complete the funding package, why there was a slight increase, the timeline for construction, ultimate goals and an update on operations in Saudi Arabia / Ethiopia.
KEFI Minerals Plc is the operator of two advanced gold development projects within the highly prospective Arabian-Nubian Shield, with an attributable 1.93Moz (100% of Tulu Kapi’s 1.72Moz and 40% of Jibal Qutman’s 0.73Moz) gold Mineral Resources (JORC 2012) plus significant resource growth potential. KEFI targets that production at these projects generates cash flows for further exploration and expansion as warranted, recoupment of development costs and, when appropriate, dividends to shareholders.
The Tulu Kapi gold project in western Ethiopia is being progressed towards development, following a grant of a Mining Licence in April 2015.
The Company has now refined contractual terms for project construction and operation. Estimates include open pit gold production of c. 140,000oz pa for a 7-year period. All-in Sustaining Costs (including operating, sustaining capital and closure but not including leasing and other financing charges) remain c. US$800/oz. Tulu Kapi’s Ore Reserve estimate totals 15.4Mt at 2.1g/t gold, containing 1.1Moz.
All aspects of the Tulu Kapi (open pit) gold project have been reported in compliance with the JORC Code (2012) and subjected to reviews by appropriate independent experts.
A Preliminary Economic Assessment has been published that indicates the economic attractiveness of mining the underground deposit adjacent to the Tulu Kapi open pit, after the start-up of the open pit and after positive cash flows have begun to repay project debts. An area of 1,100 square kilometres adjacent to Tulu Kapi has been reserved for exploration by KEFI upon commencement of development, with a view to adding satellite deposits to development and production plans.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
In 2009, KEFI formed G&M in Saudi Arabia with local Saudi partner, Abdul Rahman Saad Al Rashid & Sons Company Limited (“ARTAR”), to explore for gold and associated metals in the Arabian-Nubian Shield. KEFI has a 40% interest in G&M and is the operating partner.
To date, G&M has conducted preliminary regional reconnaissance and has had five exploration licences (“ELs”) granted, including Jibal Qutman and the Hawiah EL that contains over 6km strike length of outcropping gossans developed on altered and mineralised rocks with all the hallmarks of a copper-gold-zinc VHMS deposit.
At Jibal Qutman, Mineral Resources are estimated to total 28.4Mt at 0.80g/t gold for 733,045 contained ounces. The shallow oxide portion of this resource is being evaluated as a low capital expenditure heap-leach mine development.
ARTAR, on behalf of G&M, has lodged over 20 EL applications. ELs are renewable for up to three years and bestow the exclusive right to explore and to obtain a 30-year exploitation (mining) lease within the area.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced policies to encourage minerals exploration and development, and KEFI Minerals supports this priority by serving as the technical partner within G&M. ARTAR also serves this government policy as the major partner in G&M, which is one of the early movers in the modern resurgence of the Kingdom’s minerals sector.