Aim-listed Kefi Gold and Copper is confident that peace will soon be restored to Ethiopia, following intensified diplomatic efforts and mediation now backed by the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and major world powers.
As previously reported, following the taking of office in October, the democratically elected Ethiopian government launched major military offensives in late November to drive rebel militias out of the neighbouring states they had recently occupied.
Kefi says that, over the past few days, both sides in the conflict have reported that the rebel militias are withdrawing, and the government has publicly appealed to local communities to treat the retreating rebels with dignity.
The gold explorer and developer on December 6 said it “sees this as a very positive development” and that the turning point in the military conflict reinforces Kefi's optimism that peace will soon be restored in Ethiopia and, to this end, “we also note that diplomatic efforts have recently been intensified, with mediation now backed by the AU, UN and major world powers”.
Kefi's project teams have remained on the ground throughout this period of broader national conflict, preparing for the launch of the company's Tulu Kapi gold mine in an appropriate safety-minded manner.
At the same time, project syndicate members have reaffirmed their intended project participation as soon as compliance is demonstrated with normal conditions precedent, including the community and security aspects of World Bank International Finance Corporation Performance Standards - also a condition of the mining licence.
Developments on the ground in recent days have largely driven the area of major conflict back to its origin in Tigray and helped to establish a promising scene for the hoped-for de-escalation, ceasefire and peaceful resolution for all Ethiopians.
In Kefi's view, there is little doubt that Ethiopia will then rapidly regain its long-standing position amongst the world's top ten growth countries and that the minerals sector will play an important role with the company's Tulu Kapi gold project as one of the first movers.
Kefi executive chairperson Harry Anagnostaras-Adams has thanked the company’s personnel, its community and other stakeholders for “working so tirelessly during the challenging times of 2021 in Ethiopia, which now show real promise of being put behind us”.
“It is also wonderful to hear that many of the company's Ethiopian friends and associates living in other countries are planning to spend Christmas in Ethiopia celebrating with their extended families the expected imminent resolution of the internal conflicts,” he enthuses.
In addition to Kefi’s operations in Ethiopia, its team on the ground in Saudi Arabia has made significant progress in adding value to the company's assets this year, completing about 30 000 m of drilling, along with a range of tasks within the prefeasibility study.
An updated mineral resource estimate for the Hawiah copper/gold project remains on track to be reported later this month.