KEFI Minerals forms joint venture with Ethiopian government at Tulu Kapi gold

KEFI Minerals forms joint venture with Ethiopian government at Tulu Kapi gold

(digitallook) — Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia-focussed gold exploration and development company KEFI Minerals updated the market on its Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia on Tuesday, confirming that all VAT refunds had now been received in full to the equivalent of £2.5m.

The AIM-traded firm said it and and Oryx Management, the mandated project financier for the project, had agreed the finance execution plan and assembling documentation across all the fronts for finance closing later in 2017.

Its board also said it had approved that “selected preliminary field works” start as soon as the wet season ends in September, such as geotechnical drilling of the planned sites for the plant and dams, to keep to the “fastest” project works schedule for production commencing late 2019.

“We are very pleased with the progress being made at Tulu Kapi,” said KEFI executive chairman Harry Anagnostaras-Adams.

“We have agreed with our partners both the execution plan to close the required financing and the project works schedule.”

KEFI – via its wholly-owned subsidiary KEFI Minerals Ethiopia – and the Federal Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has now launched a new company to hold the project, Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Share Company.

Based on current estimates of capital spending and capital contributions, respective shareholdings would be 75-80% KEFI and 20-25% the Ethiopian government.

The Board of TKGM included two representatives from the Government and four from KEFI, the board added.

Of the KEFI appointees, Harry Anagnostaras-Adams – KEFI’s executive chairman – was appointed chairman, and Wayne Nicoletto – KEFI’s chief operating officer – was appointed managing director.

KEFI said TKGM was now implementing the agreed project plan, including transferring the Project mining licence from KME to TKGM, gaining ancillary consents from local and regional authorities for the detailed project construction activities such as road widening, power connections and waste management, resolving with local authorities around infrastructure for the resettlement sites, and calculating the final compensation payable for displaced landholders in light of the now completed updates of property surveys and the collected independent data for landholders’ product yield and market prices.

“The launch of project company TKGM has cemented our relationship with the government and everyone is pushing to complete the financing and get into development and production,” Anagnostaras-Adams added.

“We look forward to providing further updates as matters progress in the coming weeks and months.”