Jibal Qutman EL

The Jibal Qutman EL is located in the central southern region of the Arabian-Nubian Shield and covers an area of 99.9km2. The EL overlies part of the prospective Nabitah-Tathlith Fault Zone, a 300km-long structure with over 40 gold occurrences and ancient gold mines.

KEFI Minerals completed a Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) on the Jibal Qutman Project in March 2014. The PFS demonstrated a profitable carbon-in-leach (“CIL”) operation with All-in Costs (including operating costs, capital expenditure and closure costs) under $1,000 per ounce.

Ongoing exploration drilling has subsequently identified additional oxide gold mineralisation that is amenable to heap leach (“HL”) processing.

Accordingly, the Company is focusing on producing gold via an open cut, HL operation. The HL approach has the advantages of speeding up the potential development timetable and lowering capital requirements to potentially as little as $3 million for KEFI’s equity contribution to initial development costs.

Given the established regional prospectivity for shallow oxide gold deposits, EL Applications have been submitted for four additional areas near Jibal Qutman. Information on Jibal Qutman's geology and mineralogy is available in this conference poster.

Mineral Resource Estimates for Jibal Qutman.

Drilling undertaken since the EL grant in July 2012 has identified gold resources in seven areas - Main Zone, West Zone, South Zone, South Zone Southeast Extension (“SZSE”), 3K Hill Zone, 4K Hill Zone and Red Hill. 

In May 2015, KEFI released an updated Mineral Resource estimate of 28.4 million tonnes at 0.80g/t gold, containing 733,045 ounces for Jibal Qutman. This represents a 48% or 237,851 ounce increase over the March 2014 resource estimate for Jibal Qutman.

As summarised in the table below, the majority of the Mineral Resource is now in the Indicated category.

 

Category

Tonnes
(millions)

Gold
(g/t)

Contained Gold
('000 ounces)

Oxide

Indicated

8.3

0.86

229

Inferred

2.8

0.64

58

Sub-Total

11.1

0.80

287

Sulfide

Indicated

9.7

0.86

269

Inferred

7.6

0.72

176

Sub-Total

17.3

0.80

446

Oxide
+
Sulfide

Indicated

18.0

0.86

498

Inferred

10.4

0.70

235

Grand Total

28.4

0.80

733

 

The oxide gold mineralisation contained with the above Mineral Resource is estimated to total 11.1 million tonnes at 0.80g/t gold, containing 287,000 ounces.

Preliminary Economic Assessment for Jibal Qutman HL Operation

Metallurgical test work has confirmed that Jibal Qutman oxide mineralisation is amenable to HL processing and that agglomeration is not likely to be required apart from the South Zone deposit. Further metallurgical test work is being carried out and currently includes column leach testing of oxide drill core from four of the deposits.

The key outcomes from a Preliminary Economic Assessment for Jibal Qutman completed in May 2015 were:

  • 1.5Mtpa HL operation;
  • Gold production 139,000 ounces over an initial mine life of 4.5 years;
  • Oxide open-pit optimisation studies show a potential mineable resource of 6.6 million tonnes at 0.95g/t gold, for 201,600 contained ounces;
  • Waste:ore ratio of 2.2:1.0;
  • Average gold recovery of 69%;
  • Cash operating cost of $597/ounce; and
  • Capital expenditure of $30 million.

Combined with the potential for development loans for up to 75% of capex requirements, it may be possible for KEFI to fund its share of the equity portion with under $3 million in equity or other forms of finance.

Jibal Qutman Outlook

Further metallurgical test work is currently being carried out, including column leach testing of oxide drill core from four of the deposits.

Jibal Qutman’s business objectives are to:

  • Complete a Preliminary Feasibility Study evaluating the development of a low-cost HL mining operation;
  • Further increase near-surface oxide gold resources;
  • Explore the surrounding ELAs rapidly after granting, which have high prospectivity for additional resources;
  • Gain further confidence in HL gold recoveries; 
  • Potentially develop the Jibal Qutman HL operation as an avenue to provide the cash flow to expand in Saudi Arabia by funding: 
    • Construction of a CIL processing plant for the deeper sulphide ore; and 
    • The Company’s program of exploring G&M’s large portfolio of prospects.  

This strategy envisages Jibal Qutman becoming G&M’s foundation for a strong, sustainable mining company in Saudi Arabia.