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Tulu Kapi gold project, Ethiopia – update

Location map of the Tulu Kapi gold project

Photo by Kefi Gold and Copper

19th January 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Tulu Kapi gold project.

Location
Western Ethiopia.

Project Owner/s
Kefi Gold and Copper (formerly KEFI Minerals) will own 80% of the exploration and holding company for the government of Ethiopia, KME, which, in turn, will own 56% of Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Share Company (TKGM), thus bestowing Kefi with a 45% beneficial interest in the project.

Project Description
Tulu Kapi has an ore reserve estimate of 15.4-million tonnes at 2.1 g/t gold for 1.1-million ounces of gold.

Openpit gold production is estimated at 140 000 oz/y over a seven-year mine life.

Total life-of-mine production is estimated at 980 000 oz.

The conventional openpit mining operation will include a carbon-in-leach processing plant. The mine will be connected to Ethiopia’s electricity grid through a new 47-km-long, 132 kV dedicated power line relatively close to the country’s major hydropower-generation source. An emergency diesel power plant will also be installed to provide emergency backup power for critical process equipment in the event of grid power failure.

A preliminary economic assessment has indicated the economic attractiveness of mining the underground deposit adjacent to the Tulu Kapi openpit after the startup of the openpit and the repaying of project debts through positive cash flows.

Potential Job Creation
The project will employ 1 000 people directly and up to 10 000 people indirectly.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
$320-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Production is expected to start in 2025.

Latest Developments
Kefi Gold and Copper has received confirmation of conditional final credit committee approval from the lead lender. 

This follows the analogous approvals from other key syndicate members, including lead contractors and lead equity parties, and key Ethiopian government actions in 2023, such as the negotiated and reported exemptions from foreign exchange restrictions, commitments to provide permanent security protection and the approval of additional protections for the lenders for the project. 

The $320-million finance package is designed at the subsidiary level with syndicate members who know the country and are keen to support Kefi in a tightly coordinated and safe manner. 

Kefi is mobilising in the field to prepare the community, with church leaders and congregations having been briefed.

 In parallel with the social engagement programme, Kefi is preparing detailed definitive documentation for the project syndicate financiers to sign.  

The full project launch, including funding drawdown, is on course for the first half of 2024, subject to the satisfaction of all the standard conditions precedent for a transaction of this type, independent confirmation that the project is ready for launch from security and community standpoints, and final board approvals of all parties. 

The Ethiopian government has recently made strong commitments, including approving country membership (a set of protections for development finance institutions) for both Kefi’s project lenders, deregulating exchange controls, and committing to the preparation of security and community engagement. These government initiatives have played a very important supportive role in allowing for the project to progress.

Kefi has updated all independent technical due diligence and reaffirmed conditional approvals by all lead members of the project syndicate, including conditional final credit committee approval of the lead lender.  

Key Contractors, Suppliers and Consultants
Lycopodium (plant construction); and Corica Group (mine services).

Contact Details for Project Information
Kefi Gold and Copper, tel +90 232 381 9431, fax +90 232 381 9071 or email info@kefi-minerals.com.

 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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