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KEFI Gold and Copper sees greater resource at Jibal Qutman gold joint venture project in Saudi Arabia

KEFI Gold and Copper PLC (AIM:KEFI, OTC:KFFLF) said development planning studies have resumed at the Jibal Qutman gold project in Saudi Arabia following a new regulatory system at the Saudi Arabian Ministry for Industry and Mineral Resources. Alternative processing options are now viable, which should allow for a greater portion of the ore body to be developed, meaning a greater resource and production profile, it said, adding that gold prices are also considerably higher than the US$1,200 used in 2015 when Kefi lodged its initial mining licence application. The project “may emerge quickly as a larger than previously contemplated development proposition, after some years stuck in regulatory clearances”, said executive chairman Harry Anagnostaras-Adams. AIM-traded Kefi also announced progress on its other Gold and Minerals SLA joint venture project in Saudi Arabia. “It’s great to see the continued stream of results and news coming from Saudi Arabia as the Hawiah copper-gold and Jibal Qutman gold projects push towards development,” said Anagnostaras-Adams. “The team is pleased to be able to deliver rapid progress across all fronts given the very supportive stance taken by the Saudi government recently.” Saudi Arabia has amended regulations and legislation in the mining sector to encourage investors in the sector. It intends to attract investments worth $32bn to the sector through nine new projects, Arabian Business reported today. The company said that while there has been no formal notification on the award of a mining licence at Jibal Qutman, given the positive and constructive developments at the Ministry, the decision has been taken to re-establish a base in the nearby city of Bisha. This will be used to coordinate operations ahead of the field camp construction should the mining licence application be approved. Kefi said a preliminary feasibility study and associated exploration programmes were ongoing at the Hawiah project. In the last month it has made good progress on preliminary underground, open-pit, and surface infrastructure designs; completed an initial geotechnical diamond drilling programme; completed hydrology drilling with pump testing; and started exploration drilling within the Central Zone. Resource classification drilling within the Oxide Zone to due to start in June. It also received positive assay results for the Hawiah Phase 1 oxide drilling, targeting open pit mining in the first phase of development, with a weighted-average gold grade of 1.7 grammes a tonne. Kefi is awaiting results from initial drilling at the Al Godeyer prospect, adjacent to the Hawiah deposit. “Following our capital raise of £8mln in April, KEFI can meet its funding obligations in Saudi Arabia to keep up with this highly active and aggressive growth campaign across the three licence areas within Saudi Arabia and we can also continue the risk-managed step up of early development works in Ethiopia,” said Anagnostaras-Adams. “This paves the way for full construction in Ethiopia from October 2022 at the end of the local wet season, with the initial signing at end June 2022 setting out any residual conditions to be satisfied with government.”