(Alliance News) - Kefi Gold & Copper PLC on Monday said it will proceed with early work following the launch of the Tulu Kapi project.

The Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia-focused exploration and development company owns a 95% stake in the Tulu Kapi gold mines in Ethiopia as of May 13.

Following confirmation from TKGM's board, which comprises representatives of both Kefi and the Ethiopian federal and regional government, the project is officially launched.

The commencement of preliminary work is imminent with recruitment, planning, and procurement taking place until September, followed by major operations from October onwards.

Executive Chair Harry Anagnostaras-Adams said: "Our launch timing is fortuitously coinciding with the improved conditions in Ethiopia and all-time high gold prices.

"Tulu Kapi's high grade and high process recovery, combined with our project design, has resulted in a robust set of economics for long-term operations which should support further exploration and development."

Based on a current gold price of USD2,350 per ounce, hard currency exports are expected to average USD377 million per annum.

Royalties and taxes of USD69 million per annum, and operating expenditures of USD119 million per annum are expected.

The project has access to USD190 million of secured debt from development banks, alongside USD130 million of equity risk capital from share subscription and an equity risk note.

Kefi shares were up 10% to 0.80 pence each in London on Monday afternoon.

By Elijah Dale, Alliance News reporter

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