- KEFI Minerals is very pleased with the progress being made at Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia having agreed with its partners both the execution plan to close the required financing and the project works schedule.

It said all VAT refunds had now been received in full (equivalent of c. £2.5 million, and KEFI and Oryx Management Limited, the mandated project financier for the project, had agreed the finance execution plan and assembling documentation across all the fronts for finance closing later in 2017.

Other highlights:

- Approved that selected preliminary field works start as soon as the wet season ends in September 2017, such as geotechnical drilling of the planned sites for the plant and dams, to keep to fastest Project works schedule for production commencing late 2019.

- KEFI (via its wholly-owned subsidiary KEFI Minerals (Ethiopia) Limited and the Federal Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia have launched the new company to hold the project, Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Share Company Limited.

- Based on current estimates of capital spending and capital contributions, respective shareholdings will be 75-80% KEFI and 20-25% Government.

- The Board of TKGM includes two representatives from the Government and four from KEFI. Of the KEFI appointees Harry Anagnostaras-Adams (KEFI executive chairman) has been appointed chairman and Wayne Nicoletto (KEFI chief operating officer) has been appointed Managing Director.

- TKGM is now implementing the agreed project plan, including:

* Transferring the project mining licence (the minerals rights and the overarching permit to develop and operate) from KME to TKGM.

* Ancillary consents from local and regional authorities for the detailed Project construction activities such as road widening, power connections and waste management.

* Resolving with local authorities as regards infrastructure for the resettlement sites.

* Calculating the final compensation payable for displaced landholders in light of the now completed updates of property surveys and the collected independent data for landholders' product yield and market prices.

Anagnostaras-Adams said: "We are very pleased with the progress being made at Tulu Kapi. We have agreed with our partners both the execution plan to close the required financing and the Project works schedule.

"The launch of project company TKGM has cemented our relationship with the Government and everyone is pushing to complete the financing and get into development and production.

"We look forward to providing further updates as matters progress in the coming weeks and months."

At 8:11am: [LON:KEFI] KEFI Minerals PLC share price was +0.13p at 5.38p

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