Kefi reassures investors after Ethiopian press reports
Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia-focussed exploration and development company Kefi Gold and Copper updated the market following recent press commentary in Ethiopia on Monday.
The AIM-traded firm said the press reports were over a Mines Ministry briefing on 14 May, at which reference was reportedly made to the cancellation of licences awarded to 27 mining and exploration companies, with a ministry official apparently making a verbal reference to issue warning letters to three other companies, including 'Tulu Kapi Gold Mines'.
Kefi said neither itself or its subsidiaries, Kefi Minerals Ethiopia and Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Share Company (TKGM), nor any of their associate companies, were aware of any breach of licence conditions, and had not received a warning letter or had notice of an intended letter flagged to them, formally or informally.
“The directors of Kefi believe they have an especially close working relationship with the Ethiopian government, which is a shareholder in TKGM at both the federal and Oromia regional levels,” the board said in its statement.
“Last week, formal meetings of the TKGM shareholders, board of directors and project task force, comprising senior representatives of TKGM and all involved Ethiopian government agencies, were held which agreed the tasks and timetable for development of the company's Tulu Kapi gold project to commence in the coming months.”
Kefi said it was agreed that, at the current time of “heightened anxiety” around “arguably the most important” democratic elections in Ethiopia's history, which are scheduled for the end of June, all parties needed to focus on completing the preparations for project launch.
“Kefi and TKGM are particularly grateful for the Ethiopian government's efforts at all levels regarding the jointly-owned project and its undertakings to complete its requisite final preparations for development to commence.
“Notwithstanding the obvious distraction of election time, it was agreed last week to upscale security around the project, endorse Kefi’s historical project expenditure, confirm Kefi’s exploration licences and confirm the construction schedule for the offsite infrastructure.
“Kefi acknowledges and appreciates the huge effort required from such busy government agencies.”
The company said it was focussed on completing preparations for full project launch as soon as possible after its annual general meeting, which would take place before the end of June.
“The company will make further announcements as appropriate.”
At 1312 BST, shares in Kefi Gold and Copper were down 4.96% at 2.01p.