Kefi Minerals Plc, a UK-based gold exploration and Development Company, and its Ethiopian subsidiary Tulu Kapi Gold Mine Share Company Limited, which it owns in partnership with Ethiopian government, are set to start the next phase of the development of its mining concession in October, 2019, The Reporter has learnt.
This was disclosed at a mining conference dubbed the Africa Down Under, held on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 in Perth, Australia.
“It is exciting that the Tulu Kapi Gold Mine development project is starting, and that it is especially pleasing that it is a joint venture with both the Ethiopian Government and the private sectors,” said Harry Anagnostaras Adams, executive Chairman of KEFI and TKGM.
According to the company’s website, the Tulu Kapi Mining Agreement between the Ethiopian Government and KEFI gave the company a 20-year mining License, with a 5 percent Government free-carried interest (it was under discussion to increase government’s stake in the project) and full permits for the development and operation of Tulu Kapi.
The Gold Ore Reserve is estimated to be at 1.05 million ounces and Mineral Resources totaling 1.72 million ounces of gold.
“All parties are completing the last-minute actions for next month’s start of the 24-month development schedule to achieve full production in 2021,” said Harry adding, “This will be the first modern mine development in Ethiopia for decades and has taken great determination and collaborative efforts by all parties, for which we are most grateful.”
Kefi Minerals received its mining license in the area back in 2015. Its current project is located in West Wellega Zone, Tulu Kepi woreda.
Minister for Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Samuel Kurke said that the “The Tulu Kapi Gold Project has the full support from the Ethiopian Government at all levels because it is a priority for the country and the community. We work closely with KEFI and look forward to the start development next month.”
According to a statement from the company, it (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 seven-year period.
In addition, it was indicated that KEFI Minerals have put in place a strong, well-qualified leadership and has drafted comprehensive security and crisis management plans. These plans, once refined in detail and fully resourced, will maintain security risk at a level that should be acceptable.
It can be recalled that back in May 2019, Kefi’s project was attacked by an armed group. The attackers, who were equipped with guns went into the company and tried to steal equipment’s belonging to the company. In addition, they destroyed one small shed used to store exploration equipment.
Following the attack, members of the Oromia regional and federal police were deployed to the locality. Currently, the project, following the minor incident suffers no security challenges.