Aim-listed Katoro Gold's Blyvoor joint venture (JV) management and technical team will be conducting an extensive site visit from July 1 to 2 to accelerate progress in the two key areas of project financing and its definitive feasibility study (DFS).
The company announced on May 29 that as a result of the positive Blyvoor scoping study results, at least 14 parties had expressed an interest in providing project-level financing to support the construction and development of the project.
The level of partner interest exceeded expectations and required Katoro to undertake a period of intensive review work to investigate and review potential partners.
The company has now progressed the funding process to the point where it is finalising a shortlist of potential financing partners and is working closely with these potential finance partners, advisers and its JV partners, to finalise an appropriate project level financing package.
As this continues to be adversely impacted by Covid-19-associated delays, the JV management will, during the site visit, address these issues and identify measures that will ensure the expeditious completion of the funding process.
Katoro expects to provide a further update to the market in respect of project level financing and associated timelines shortly after completion of the site visit.
The miner also notes that the site visit will mark the start of the resource upgrade programme that forms part of the technical work required for the completion of the DFS. The resource upgrade programme will consist of both an exploration and geotechnical drill programme, as well as confirmatory metallurgical test work.
The programme will increase the resource confidence level to declare a probable reserve for DFS purposes. It will also provide critical metallurgical data to ensure optimal gold recovery rates in the final detail design of the gold processing plant required to process the Blyvoor tailings.
Katoro executive chairperson Louis Coetzee says that, although significant interest has been shown in the project, it is also experiencing various delays as a result of Covid-19 constraints, most notably where it concerns the most ordinary of activities, such as free movement of people and the resultant impact on something like conducting due diligence site visits.
“In the meantime, we are pushing ahead at pace with the DFS and other work programmes focused on preparing for gold production and remain confident that the timelines set out in previous announcements will still be achieved.”