Katoro Gold plc (AIM: KAT), the AIM listed gold and nickel exploration and development company, is pleased to provide an update with regard to its Blyvoor Joint Venture (the “JV”) in respect of the Blyvoor gold tailings project (the “Project”).
The Company is delighted to announce that the JV-management and technical team will be conducting an extensive site visit from 1 to 2 July 2020, at the Project; the main objective is the acceleration of progress in two key areas of the JV:
Blyvoor Project Financing
The Company announced on 29 May 2020, that as a result of the positive Blyvoor Scoping Study results, no less than 14 parties had expressed interest in providing project level financing to support the construction and development of the Project. The level of partner interest exceeded expectations and required the Company to undertake a period of intensive review work to investigate and review potential partners.
The Company has now progressed the funding process to the point where it is finalising a shortlist of potential financing partners and is working closely with these potential finance partners, advisors, and its JV partners, to finalise an appropriate project level financing package. As this continues to be adversely impacted by COVID-19 associated delays, the JV-management will, during the site visit on 1 and 2 July 2020, address these issues and identify measures that will ensure the expeditious completion of the funding process.
The Company expects to provide a further update to the market in respect of project level financing and associated timelines shortly after completion of the site visit referred to above.
Definitive Feasibility Study
The upcoming site visit will mark the commencement of the resource upgrade programme that forms part of the technical work required for the completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”). The resource upgrade programme will consist of both an exploration and geotechnical drill programme as well as confirmatory metallurgical test work. The programme will increase the resource confidence level to declare a probable reserve for DFS purposes. It will also provide critical metallurgical data to ensure optimal gold recovery rates in the final detail design of the gold processing plant required to process the Blyvoor tailings.
Louis Coetzee Executive Chairman of Katoro Gold plc commented: “We were pleased to see the level of interest shown in the Blyvoor gold project, with the number of potential finance partners exceeding expectations. We have therefore spent much of June reviewing the parties and focusing on identifying a select shortlist from which we believe we can secure the best possible funding solution for the Project. We are, however, experiencing various frustrating delays due to COVID-19 constraints, most notably where it concerns the most ordinary of activities like, for example, free movement of people and the resultant impact on something like conducting due diligence site visits.
“In the meantime, we are pushing ahead at pace with the DFS and other work programmes focused on preparing for gold production and remain confident that the timelines set out in previous announcements will still be achieved.
“This is an intensive, but highly exciting point in the Company’s development and we are looking forward to providing further updates to the market as we continue to progress towards first gold production from the Blyvoor tailings facilities.”
This announcement contains inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) no. 596/2014.
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