KEFI Minerals eyes near term production possibilities at Tiouit mine in Morocco

Tuesday, Jul 26 2011 by
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KEFI Minerals eyes near term production possibilities at Tiouit mine in Morocco

AIM listed mining exploration company Kefi Minerals (LON:KEFI) has moved a step closer to gold and silver production after agreeing the terms of a possible joint venture at a mine in the Eastern Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco. KEFI has reached an agreement with local company Roche Invest Sarl, which gives it a period of exclusivity over the Tiouit gold-copper mine and associated tailings retreatment project. The company is carrying out due diligence investigations in order to assess whether to enter into the joint venture to develop the projects at the Tiouit Mine.

A non-JORC compliant report, dated February 2011, estimates the three tailings dams at Tiouit contain a total of 285,000 cubic metres (or approximately 460,000 tonnes) at 3 to 4 grams per ton of gold and 20 to 30 gramps per ton of silver. Significant potential also remains in the remnant ore in the underground mine.

KEFI Minerals is paying Roche Invest $250,000 for the five month exclusivity period at Tiouit. During that time it will conduct a definitive feasibility study to evaluate the retreatment of gold and silver contained in previous mine tailings. I will also initiate a pre-feasibility study on re-starting the underground mining operations at Tiouit. The agreement also sets the framework for a strategic alliance between the two companies to evaluate additional mining opportunities in Morocco and the African region.

Gold mineralisation was first discovered at Tiouit in 1946 and mining operations were carried out intermittently from 1950 to 1964. Approximately 1 million tonnes of ore have been mined historically at Tiouit with an average recovered grade of 7.9g/t gold, 67g/t silver and 0.45% copper. Approximately 720,000 tonnes of tailings were generated by previous mining operations and stored in a number of discrete "dry stacked" tailings dams at surface. The remainder of the tailings are buried beneath shallow waste cover or under the dilapidated processing plant infrastructure. A significant portion of the buried tailings may also be accessed for retreatment.

Meanwhile, significant potential also remains in the remnant ore and in un-mined veins in the underground mine. Narrow-vein mining techniques employed in the past resulted in excessive dilution of mined grades. The veins range from 0.5m to 6m in thickness, with the average mined thickness about 1.5m to 2.0m. This dilution, coupled with poor metallurgical recoveries for gold from flotation of copper minerals, resulted in many un-mined panels which are economic at current metal prices and improved selective mining techniques.

Jeff Rayner, KEFI Minerals’ managing director, said: “The Tiouit Mine represents an excellent opportunity for KEFI Minerals to quickly become a gold producer. Operations may be targeted to commence with the reprocessing of “low risk” gold tailings at a relatively low capital cost, with the net proceeds of that project being utilised for the development of the high-grade gold, silver and copper ore from the underground mine. The exploration potential of the Tiouit licences is also considered to indicate significant upside near the mine as well as the mine corridor. Our strategic alliance with Roche will enable KEFI Minerals to evaluate further advanced exploration and mining opportunities in Morocco and the African region.”


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KEFI Minerals plc is a gold exploration and development company. The Company focuses on gold and copper deposits, primarily in the prospective Arabian-Nubian Shield. The Company operates through the mineral exploration segment. The Company operates in Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. The Company's projects include Tulu Kapi project, Jibal Qutman EL and Hawiah EL. The Jibal Qutman EL project is located in the central southern region of the Arabian-Nubian Shield and covers an area of over 100 square kilometers. The Company focuses on producing gold through an open cut operation. The Tulu Kapi gold project is located in Western Ethiopia. The Tulu Kapi project is located approximately 360 kilometers due west of Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. The Tulu Kapi project includes an ore reserve of over 1.1 million ounces and mineral resources totaling 1.7 million ounces of gold. more »

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