KEFI (AIM: KEFI) continues to make positive licencing progress on the Jibal Qutman project, plus the award of two further exploration licences through the company’s Gold and Minerals Limited (G&M) joint venture in Saudi Arabia.
G&M is owned 30% by KEFI and 70% by its partner Abdul Rahman Saad Al Rashid and Sons Ltd (ARTAR).
• G&M has received the anticipated formal notification from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) that land access issues which halted the mine development application in 2016 are now resolved, clearing the way for the re-issuance of exploration licences (ELs) as a precursor to the granting of the Jibal Qutman mining licence.
• Exploration programmes and environmental baseline studies, as well as geotechnical and metallurgical drilling for the final development planning (DFS) will commence once the ELs are issued.
• Given the considerably stronger gold price outlook now prevailing, as compared with that in 2015 when preliminary development studies were completed, the Jibal Qutman DFS is being adjusted to focus on recovering over 500,000 oz of gold rather than the originally envisaged 200,000 oz of gold.
• The DFS remains on-track for completion at the end of Q4 2022, with environmental permits targeted for Q1 2023, leading to a Mining Licence Application (MLA) resubmission in early 2023. Project financing for Jibal Qutman is expected to be sourced and implemented within Saudi Arabia, which has well-developed international capital markets with a mandate to invest in the country’s mineral resources. Therefore, development commitments are expected to proceed in an expedited fashion upon the granting of the mining licence.
• As anticipated, G&M’s exploration areas are being expanded in Saudi Arabia where the newly overhauled regulatory regime is speeding up progress. Two further exploration licences have now been awarded to G&M on an initial five-year term, bringing the total number of exploration licence issued to seven covering a total area of 462 sq. km.
• The two new licences are Abu Salal South and Jadib Al Qahtanah:
– The Abu Salal South EL hosts Volcanic Massive Sulphide (VMS) mineralisation and is
located 50km south of the Company’s discovery at Hawiah, within the same geological
belt, the Wadi Bidah Metallogenic Belt (WBMB). G&M geologists have already identified gossan outcropping discontinuously for two km with grades of up to 4.0 g/t gold.
– The Jadib Al Qahtanah EL is situated approximately 45km east of the Mahad Ad Dahab mine, the principal historic Saudi gold and silver mine, in the Central Arabian Shield. Mineralisation presents as quartz vein hosted gold within a diorite body, with gold grades from crush dumps of up to 52 g/t.
“We are extremely excited to announce the positive conclusion of the land access issue which has delayed the development of the Jibal Qutman project since 2016,” Harry Anagnostaras-Adams, Executive Chairman of KEFI, said.
“The company is very grateful for the support of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources in these matters, who have gone to great lengths to secure this ground on behalf of the company.
“This news, coupled with the KEFI Saudi Arabia team’s early recommencement of studies in Q1 this year, paves the way for the fast-tracking of the project. With modern finance regulations already in place in-country along with strong Saudi capital markets, we can now realistically target bringing the mine into production in H2-2024, around the same time we expect to start production at Tulu Kapi in Ethiopia.
“We are also pleased with the granting of the new exploration licences. The Abu Salal South EL reinforces our position near our Hawiah discovery in the Wadi Bidah Metallogenic Belt which we believe will host multiple copper-zinc-gold mines. And the Jadib Al Qahtanah EL expands our portfolio across the Kingdom into another area that has already demonstrated great potential for gold mining, hosting Saudi Arabia’s principal historic gold and silver mine.
“We are delighted that the Company is now positioned as a major explorer and developer in the Saudi Arabian shield.”
For further information please visit: https://www.kefi-minerals.com/