KEFI Gold and Copper plc (LON:KEFI), the gold exploration and development company with projects in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has confirmed the recommencement of drilling at the Company’s Hawiah Project in Saudi Arabia, as anticipated following the recent positive Preliminary Economic Assessment.
The drilling programme of 13,000 metres is aiming to expand and upgrade the maiden Hawiah Mineral Resource Estimate (“MRE”) from the current 19.3 million tonnes at 0.9% copper, 0.8% zinc, 0.6g/t gold and 10.3g/t silver.
Based on the results of the initial Hawiah PEA and assuming similar characteristics to the current MRE, additional resources further improve the economic case for the Project. For further background, see the Company’s announcement of 22 September 2020 titled “Preliminary Economic Assessment Confirms Hawiah as a High Priority Project” which reported, inter alia, that a doubling of the resource would increase the Project’s estimated after-tax NPV from US$96 million to US$362 million.
The first hole drilled in Q4 2020 targeted the down-dip extension of the Camp Lode. KEFI is pleased to report hole HWD-070 intercepted 4.2 metres (estimated true width) of Volcanic Massive Sulphide (“VMS”) style of mineralisation at a downhole depth of 557 metres (vertical depth 440 metres). The previous deepest hole into the Camp Lode intercepted copper-zinc- gold-silver mineralisation at vertical depth of 300 metres. Visual inspection of the drill core identified chalcopyrite mineralisation presenting with pyrite in a sheared and massive form, in a similar style to earlier drill hole HWD-059 which intercepted 8.7 metres (estimated true width) at 1.55% copper, 1.0% zinc, 0.4g/t gold and 11.8g/t silver). Assays have not yet been received for hole HWD-070.
The first phase of the current drilling programme is focused on step-out resource expansion. The later stages of the programme will focus on infill drilling and targeted holes to improve definition within the higher-grade transition zone.
A comprehensive update, including details of all drill holes, will be provided as soon as practical after the programme is completed and all assays are received, however, the Company will also report any further material results during this drilling programme.
KEFI’s operations in Saudi Arabia are conducted through its 34% owned joint-venture company, G&M, where KEFI is the operating partner.
Harry Anagnostaras-Adams, Executive Chairman of KEFI Gold and Copper, commented:
“I am pleased to report that the next stage of the Hawiah exploration programme has commenced as planned.
“The Hawiah deposit remains open at depth and beyond the existing 4km strike. Increasing copper grades intersected in the previous deepest drill hole at the Camp Lode indicate an excellent opportunity to add additional high-grade copper-gold resources during this phase of drilling. It is very encouraging that the first hole drilled since the maiden resource estimate has intercepted four metres of sulphide mineralisation c.140 metres below the previous deepest drill hole of 300 metres into the Camp Lode.
“In addition to the deeper drilling being undertaken with the goal of substantially increasing the maiden Hawiah resource, this programme will also include infill drilling with a view of upgrading the key areas of the resource to the indicated category so as to warrant mine planning and the estimation of an initial Ore Reserve.
“We are also focussed on the studies and survey required for the completion of a Preliminary Feasibility Study during 2021, and further exploration of the surrounding area for a large stockwork zone or “feeder zone” to the massive sulphides, which represents a separate and potentially even larger-scale target.
“We look forward to reporting further progress at Hawiah and outcomes of this major drilling programme in due course.”