With a Probable Ore Reserve of 1.05 million ounces and Mineral Resources totalling 1.72 million ounces of gold, KEFI is advancing the Tulu Kapi Gold Project in Western Ethiopia towards development.
The Tulu Kapi Mining Agreement between the Ethiopian Government and KEFI was formalised in April 2015. The terms include a 20-year Mining Licence, a 5% Government free-carried interest and full permits for the development and operation of Tulu Kapi.
In June 2015, KEFI completed the 2015 Definitive Feasibility Study (“2015 DFS”) which evaluated a conventional open-pit mining operation and carbon-in leach (“CIL”) processing plant at Tulu Kapi.
In May 2017, KEFI completed the 2017 DFS Update which incorporated due diligence and refinements since the 2015 DFS and provided increased confidence in the Company’s plans to develop Tulu Kapi.
Key points of the 2017 DFS Update are:
- Process plant capacity increased from 1.2 Mtpa to 1.5-1.7 Mtpa.
- Forecast open-pit gold production is 980,000 oz over ten years.
- All-in Sustaining Costs of less than US$800/oz.
- For the first eight years of production:
- Gold production averages c. 115,000 oz pa; and
- Net operating cash flow averages US$55M pa at a gold price of US$1,250/oz.
- Initial capital expenditure estimated at US$145M on a contract-mining basis.
The Tulu Kapi gold deposit was discovered and mined on a small scale by an Italian consortium in the 1930’s. Nyota Minerals Limited acquired the licences in 2009 and then undertook extensive exploration and drilling which culminated in an initial DFS in in December 2012 based on a 2.0Mtpa processing plant and capital expenditure totalling $290 million.
In December 2013, KEFI Minerals acquired 75% of Tulu Kapi for £4.5 million. This acquisition cost equates to only $10 per reserve ounce and provides the information collected from historical expenditure of more than $50 million.
In September 2014, KEFI acquired the remaining 25% of Tulu Kapi for £750,000 and 50 million shares.
The Ethiopian government became entitled to a 5% free-carry interest in Tulu Kapi upon granting of the Mining Licence in April 2015.
The Exploration Licences held by KEFI Minerals (Ethiopia) Limited cover an area of approximately 200 square kilometres over and near the Tulu Kapi deposit.
The altitude of the project area is between 1,600m and 1,765m above sea level. The climate is temperate with annual rainfall averaging about 150cm.
Tulu Kapi is located approximately 360km due west of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. A main road to Addis Ababa is within 12km of Tulu Kapi and is being sealed with asphalt during 2014. Power lines on the main electricity grid are within 40km of the project.
The Tulu Kapi region has typical greenstone type geology which is characterized by prominent hills of intrusive rocks and deeply incised valleys containing metasediments and metavolcanic rocks.
Gold at the Tulu Kapi deposit is hosted in quartz-albite alteration zones as stacked sub-horizontal lenses in a syenite pluton into which a swarm of dolerite dykes and sills have been intruded. Gold mineralisation extends over a 1,500m by 400m zone and is open at depth (+400m).
The mineralisation is characterised by a simple mineralogy comprising gold, silver, pyrite and minor sphalerite and galena. Metallurgical recoveries of gold average more than 93% for oxide and sulphide ore in the planned open pit.
A technical paper detailing the history of Tulu Kapi exploration, discovery and geology is available in English and Italian, as well as being summarised in a presentation to the NewGenGold 2017 Conference.