KEFI Minerals plc (LON:KEFI), the gold and copper exploration and development company with projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, has today confirmed, that in relation to the Company’s Tulu Kapi Gold Project, the local, zonal and regional authorities, have confirmed their intention to trigger resettlement of the Tulu Kapi community as soon as possible, with an agreed target date of 1 January 2019. This follows meetings which took place in the Tulu Kapi area with the directors of KEFI and also of ANS Mining Share Company, KEFI’s co-investor in Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Limited, working alongside the federal government.
Preparatory activities for the resettlement will now turn to an exhaustive community communication and consultation program on the various aspects of the home and livelihood restoration plans down to the individual household level. The physical preparations will be launched as soon as the wet season ends shortly, including that the resettlement work teams building roads into new host lands and the preparation of new host lands. During this time the community will harvest its crops in Tulu Kapi and TKGM will clear new farm lands to assist the community’s re-establishment of livelihoods.
As part of this plan, TKGM has recently completed the Project wet season base line environmental surveys and also community socio-economic surveys. The Project, which is designed to comply with national and international environmental and social standards (in particular Equator Principles and World Bank Standards), will be directly employing and training over 1,000 people by the end of 2019 if all goes according to plan, and is expected to generate significant indirect benefits to local and regional stakeholders for the long term, in addition to export revenues of approximately US$200 million per annum.
This overall Project plan and timetable complements the work being done with the other consortium members and is focused on starting construction in early 2019 and commissioning production during H2 2020. Project activities on the ground in the next month will include site surveys and geotechnical drilling of final foundation layouts for on-site infrastructure.
The recent leadership changes in Federal and Oromia Regional Governments have unleashed a progressive transformation across Ethiopia and all Tulu Kapi stakeholders are focused on ensuring the Project proceeds smoothly. The Oromia Regional Government is overseeing the community implementation program to ensure maintenance of the excellent community relations at Tulu Kapi.
Managing Director of KEFI Minerals plc and Chairman of TKGM, Mr Harry Anagnostaras-Adams, said “In many ways this is the most welcome recent development, because it takes years to establish the sort of trust required for a smooth project launch when a country and region is going through such rapid change.
“KEFI and its partners in Tulu Kapi Gold Mines deeply appreciate the support of the community and of the authorities and are committed to maximising the local benefits of the Project.”