Aim-listed Kefi chairperson Harry Anagnostaras-Adams says he is delighted that the funding consortium for the Tulu Kapi project, in Ethiopia, has been finalised and that the overall project timetable for targeting the start of production in the fourth quarter of 2022 has been maintained.
Kefi on October 22 announced that it had assembled the full funding consortium and set the conditional terms for the development funding package of about $221-million.
It has entered into two nonbinding term sheets for a combined minimum of $40-million of investment with the Ethiopian division of a global industrial company and a commodity trading company.
The project finance structure now comprises the federal government of Ethiopia and the regional government of Oromia; the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank and the Africa Finance Corporation as mandated senior project lenders; African-experienced preferred principal contractors; and strong African specialist investors.
Kefi and its government partners will be able to retain a higher beneficial ownership of the project. For Kefi, this is now expected to be about 65%, compared with the previously envisaged 45% ownership.
This approach is expected to materially increase the value of the project to both the company and its government partners, Kefi stated in an October 23 report to shareholders.
Anagnostaras-Adams said he was also pleased that the maiden mineral resource and preliminary economic assessment for Kefi's Hawiah project in Saudi Arabia had been finalised during the quarter ended September 30.
Kefi's operations in Saudi Arabia are conducted through its 34% owned joint venture company, G&M, with Kefi being the operating partner.
The maiden Hawiah mineral resource estimate totals 19.3-million tonnes at 0.9% copper, 0.8% zinc, 0.6 g/t gold and 10.3 g/t silver.
The Hawiah deposit has only been drilled to a vertical depth of 350 m and remains open at depth and along strike.
Increasing copper grades intersected in the deepest drill hole at the Camp Lode indicate an excellent opportunity to add additional high-grade copper/gold resources during the next phase of drilling, the company said.
The G&M directors have resolved to proceed with the next stage of the project, comprising the deeper drilling targeting with the goal of doubling the maiden resource during the next drilling phase; infill drilling to upgrade the resource to the indicated category so as to warrant mine planning and estimation of an ore reserve; staged studies and surveys required for completion of a prefeasibility study during 2021; and scout drilling for a large stockwork zone or "feeder zone" to the massive sulphides which represent a separate and even larger-scale target.