StockMarketWire.com - KEFI Minerals has issued an update for its operations in Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia.

Corporate:

- Raised £3.8 million (US$5 million) primarily for project finance for the scheduled development activities of the Tulu Kapi Gold Project, notably resettlement of the Tulu Kapi community and project finance syndication closure costs.

- Confirmed entitlement to ETB72 million (US$3.5 million) VAT refund from the Ethiopian tax authorities.

- The Board of KEFI is considering a number of financing proposals for the development of Tulu Kapi.

- Strengthened the Board with the appointment of Mr Mark Wellesley-Wood, an experienced African mining operator, as Non-Executive Director.

- RFC Ambrian appointed as joint broker.

Tulu Kapi gold project, Ethiopia which is wholly-owned by KEFI with the government entitled to 5% free carried interest:

- Community resettlement, livelihood restoration and community development programmes progressed and remain ongoing.

- Tulu Kapi project contract drafting advanced with Ausdrill for mining and Lycopodium for plant.

- Progressed drafting of shareholders' agreement with the Government of Ethiopia.

- Development Bank of Ethiopia completed its evaluation process and the National Bank of Ethiopia (the central bank) approved the proposed maximum senior debt-gearing.

- Updated the Project timetable with the Government, project contractors and potential finance syndicate and revised the date for start-up of production to mid-2018.

- Received formal Front End Engineering and Design proposal for US$68 million from Lycopodium under its proposed fixed price Engineering Procurement and Design contract. This capital item, which is the largest single component of total Tulu Kapi capital expenditure, has increased 4% since the tender twelve months ago, mainly due to currency movements.

- Reviewed other capital estimates with contractors and financial advisers. After also adding contingencies and provisions for non-Tulu Kapi costs, the estimated funding requirement has been increased to c. US$150-160 million, which is fully covered by the financing proposals being considered and remains significantly less than the original c. US$289 million Tulu Kapi capital expenditure estimates of the previous owner of the Project.

Gold & Minerals Ltd Joint Venture, Saudi Arabia (40%-owned by the Company with KEFI as operator): Encouraging signs from Government

- New Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Ministry created, to be headed by Khalid al-Falih, Chairman of state oil company Saudi Aramco.

- Ministry will handle oil and gas extraction, power generation and distribution, mining and industrial development.

- KEFI and its partner ARTAR, through its G&M joint venture, regard this as a positive sign and expect new mining policy to be issued before year-end.

Jibal Qutman

- KEFI's plans for developing a heap leach gold project at the Jibal Qutman development await the outcomes of the Government policy review.

Hawiah

- Re-commenced fieldwork, focusing on depth-measurement of large buried targets as a prelude to drilling.

Portfolio of licence applications

- Upgraded and expanded its portfolio of licence applications to reinforce foundations for longer term growth opportunities.




At 9:54am: [LON:KEFI] KEFI Minerals PLC share price was -0.04p at 0.44p



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