KEFI (AIM: KEFI), the gold exploration and development company with projects in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is pleased to provide an update on the current 13,000-metre drilling programme at the Company’s 34%-owned and operated Hawiah Project in Saudi Arabia (“Hawiah” or the “Project”).
· Further success with the ongoing 13,000m drilling programme
· Current programme focused on increasing resource inventory through step-out drilling
· 6 holes representing circa 3,600m of drilling now complete
· HWD-073 encounters mineralisation at additional depth of 500m in the Central Zone
· HWD-074 extends mineralisation down-dip by 260m in the Camp Lode
· Inspection of intercepts suggest similar chalcopyrite mineralisation to previous drill holes
· Assay results pending
· Second rig now on site to accelerate the drill programme
The first six drill holes, representing approximately 3,600 metres have yielded some further highly encouraging results, intercepting the orebody at greater depths as intended. The current programme is aiming to significantly increase the maiden Hawiah Mineral Resource Estimate (“MRE”) of 19.3 million tonnes at 0.9% copper, 0.8% zinc, 0.6g/t gold and 10.3g/t silver. As reported in the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) announcement on 22 September 2020, a doubling of the resource would increase the Project’s estimated after-tax NPV from US$96 million to US$362 million.
Current Drill Programme
The first phase of the current drilling programme is focused on resource expansion at the Camp Lode, due to elevated average copper grades in this area of the deposit. Drillholes have been stepped out to significant distances to quickly confirm that the deposit extends both along strike and at depth.
Exploratory drilling is also taking place within the Central Zone to follow up on geophysical targets highlighted during the 2019 IP/Rho survey and to expand on the previous shallow scout drilling results.
The later stages of this programme will focus on infill drilling as well as on targeted holes to improve definition within the higher-grade transition zone. As a result of encouraging results to date, a second drill rig has been introduced to speed up the drilling programme.
A summary of the latest drillholes is as follows:
These early intersections are highly encouraging, especially given the wide spacing of the drill locations, designed to provide a broad overview of the footprint of mineralisation. HWD-074 has confirmed the Camp Lode continues to the south, with the intersection (7.3m true-width) representing a 260m down-dip extension from the MRE. Further holes in the ongoing programme are aiming to expand the known boundaries of the deposit.
Visual inspection of these massive sulphide intercepts has identified chalcopyrite mineralisation in a similar style to the earlier drill holes within the Camp Lode. Assay results are pending.
The deep drilling at the Central Zone (HWD 073), an area largely untested during the initial phases of exploration to date, has demonstrated that mineralisation is present at a vertical depth of 580m, 500m below the previous drillhole at 80m. Whilst the intercept is relatively narrow, the result suggests that the area between Camp Lode and the Crossroads Lode (extending laterally over 1700m and to a depth of 600m) now has the potential to add additional resources and warrants further exploration.
A comprehensive update, including details of all drill holes, will be provided as soon as practical after the programme is completed and all assays are received. However, the Company will also report any further material results during this drilling programme as they arise.
Additional Exploration licences
KEFI is pleased to note the recent developments of the Saudi Arabian mining laws and regulations, in-line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy. The Company has been actively engaged with the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (“DMMR”) to ensure that the previous exploration licences are processed once the new regulations come into effect from 1 January 2021. The issuance of the new regulations represents the end of a 5-year hiatus on the granting of exploration licences in the Kingdom, and marks the launch of an intended high-growth phase for the sector.
To this end, KEFI is also actively pursuing additional ground within the Kingdom that meets with KEFI’s strategy of growing Gold & Minerals Limited (“G&M”), in which KEFI has a 34% interest, to capitalise on its position as the leading private sector exploration and development company in Saudi Arabia. Further details on licencing will be announced in due course.
Harry Anagnostaras-Adams, Executive Chairman of KEFI, commented:
“The drilling results to date show that the Hawiah deposit remains open at depth and to the south. The work programme has sought to quickly ‘stretch’ some of the extremities of the deposit and as such we are greatly encouraged to see returns of significant intercepts as drilling continues to demonstrate the size and scale of the Hawiah deposit.
“As previously reported, in addition to the deeper drilling being undertaken targeting a substantial increase in the maiden Hawiah resource, this programme will also include infill drilling with a view of upgrading key areas of the resource to the indicated category so as to warrant mine planning and the estimation of an initial Ore Reserve.
“We remain focussed on the studies and survey required for the completion of a Preliminary Feasibility Study during 2021, together with further exploration of the surrounding area for a large stockwork zone or ‘feeder zone’ to the massive sulphides, which represents a separate and potentially even larger-scale target.
“We look forward to reporting further progress at Hawiah and outcomes of this major drilling programme in due course.”
Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure
Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.
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