Katoro Gold plc (AIM: KAT), the AIM listed gold and nickel exploration and development company, is pleased to announce an update with regard to the Company’s Blyvoor Joint Venture (the “JV”) in respect of the Blyvoor gold tailings project (the “Project”) first announced on 30 January 2020 (the “Announcement”).
SCOPING STUDY UPDATE
The Company is pleased to confirm that good progress is being made in respect of the scoping study being undertaken to assess the technical and economic assumptions underlying the gold production opportunity held within the Project.
Upon receipt of the final scoping study, Katoro will update the market as to its findings, including an assessment of the technical viability of the proposed processing methodologies and an update to calculated Project economics, including net present value (“NPV”), internal rate of return (“IRR”) and return on investment (“ROI”).
PROJECT LEVEL FINANCING
Katoro has and continues to be engaged with multiple parties with regards to securing the necessary financing to support the construction and development of the Project.
Discussions are progressing, albeit with some practical challenges due to COVID-19 restrictions, including the limitations on travel within and into South Africa.
As set out in the Announcement, the Agreement set out that the Initial Project Funding, together with all necessary regulatory and government approvals that may be required in order to form the JV, must be in place by 30 April 2020. As a result of the ongoing financing discussion and the impact of COVID-19, the JV Partners have agreed to an extension of this deadline to 29 May 2020.
The Company’s JV partners recognise the progress made by Katoro in advancing the Project to date and have expressed their willingness to be flexible and supportive, in what is an unusual operational environment for contractual finalisation, with specific reference to financing arrangements and associated deadlines, given the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unless otherwise defined herein, capitalised terms used in this announcement shall have the same meaning as those used in the Announcement .
Louis Coetzee, Executive Chairman of Katoro, said: “When Katoro signed the JV agreement in January 2020, the Board of Katoro believed it represented a unique opportunity for near-term gold production and potentially considerable financial returns.
“We were keen to subject the Project to independent validation, and good progress has been made in this regard. This includes the implementation of a Project scoping study and I am happy to report that this is now at an advanced stage.
“The Katoro Board are pleased with the findings of our work on the Project to date and we look forward to providing an update once the final scoping study has been received, which we believe will highlighted areas where, in the build up to production, we can add further technical and economic value.
“In addition, financing discussions for the Project with potential third parties have progressed well, albeit with the practical challenges of Covid-19 restrictions and the JV Partners have mutually agreed to extend the deadline for completion of the financing to 29 May 2020 to reflect this.
“We look forwarding to keeping shareholders updated on our progress and the findings of the scoping study in detail and outlining the next steps in the Project’s development.”
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