Aim-listed Kefi Gold and Copper has been granted a mining licence for the Tulu Kapi copper and gold project, in Ethiopia.
The company made the announcement and said the licence is valid until 2035 but conditional on Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Share Company securing project finance by January 31, 2022. The lead finance parties have already been collaborating for more than three years in preparation for the project, during which time technical and legal due diligence has been completed.
Tulu Kapi Mining Agreement
With a Probable Ore Reserve of 1.05 million ounces and Mineral Resources totalling 1.72 million ounces of gold, KEFI is advancing the Tulu Kapi Gold Project in Western Ethiopia towards development. The Tulu Kapi Mining Agreement between the Ethiopian Government and KEFI was formalised in April 2015. The terms include a 20-year Mining Licence, a 5% Government free-carried interest and full permits for the development and operation of Tulu Kapi.
Following completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study, Tulu Kapi has continued to progress towards development with the appointment of contractors and subsequent work to solidify the estimates and further improve Project economics.
Gold production is currently estimated to average 140,000 ounces per annum over the seven years of mining the open pit. Estimated All-in Sustaining Cost is in the order of US$800-900/oz, much lower than the industry average.
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. These plans now also reflect duly updated construction and operating terms with project contractors. Regional exploration is at an early stage but significant potential has already been identified for further gold orebodies to be discovered near Tulu Kapi.
“While the geopolitical environment has proved more challenging than what was envisaged at the time of the company’s arrival in Ethiopia in 2014, the opportunity and potential value from the project is larger and more important than it has ever been,” Kefi says.
Commissioning of the project is planned for 2023, with key development activities due to start in December this year.