KEFI Minerals (AIM: KEFI), the gold exploration and development company with projects in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has given DirectorsTalk an update on developments in Ethiopia and the impact it has on the Company’s plans for developing its Tulu Kapi Gold Project.
Ethiopian Government changes and Impact on the Project
Since the appointment on 2 April 2018 of new Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed, there have been various appointments of new Ministers and, as of Friday of last week, new State Ministers (Deputy Ministers). This follows the resignation of the former Prime Minister to allow a transition to a new leadership.
The Company is in communication with all Government offices dealing with the Project in the Federal and Oromia Regional Governments to welcome the new appointments and maintain progress on various administrative tasks as pre-cursers to development. The Government is also KEFI’s partner in the Project company, Tulu Kapi Gold Mine Share Company Limited (“TKGM”), and its representatives on the TKGM board work closely with KEFI and other members of the Project consortium.
According to the IMF, Ethiopia is expected to be the highest growth country in Sub-Saharan Africa again this year. Mining is listed as a priority sector for Ethiopia and it is expected that the Project will play an important role in the country’s development.
Project Development Funding
KEFI has been advised that the international bond markets favourably view the Ethiopian Government’s smooth transition to its new leadership. Against this backdrop, market soundings currently indicate that the KEFI Infrastructure Bond will have a c.7% coupon based on the Bond being issued at par, subject to the completion of formal due diligence and market conditions at the time of the Bond issue. The Bond will be a senior secured sinking fund bond issued by KEFI’s Luxembourg SPV and listed in Luxembourg. Over the past year KEFI has been developing its Project funding plans with its consortium, targeting institutional investors via the specialist bond-arranger formally mandated on 8 May 2018.