Exclusive: Ministry of Mines gives KEFI 3 months ultimatum to revamp activities

Tulu Kapi gold mine
Photo: The Reporter

By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12

Addis Abeba, November 5/ 2021- The Ministry of Mines gave KEFI Minerals’ a final opportunity to perform the obligations that are expected by the ministry. In a letter reviewed by Addis Standard, the ministry gave until January 31, 2022 to the Tulu Kapi Gold Mine (TKGM) to procure the necessary finances to carry out operations.

The letter was a response to a letter by TKGM dated November 1, 2021 stating the company’s determination to advance its project despite the challenges it is facing. The company also assured the ministry that it will start commissioning production in two years time  in line with the ‘Development and Production Work Program’ agreed upon by the ministry. 

In the letter, TKGM recalled the security issues that forced it to halt its operation and claimed that the zonal officials suspended its physical access from early September 2021. It requested the ministry to fulfill the ‘necessary planning and minimizing of security risk’ ahead of the arrival of international security and community inspectors on November 14 as per the company’s licence conditions for the project launch. “We are in a position to advance our project and deliver our promise to Ethiopia, the local community and all our stakeholders,” the letter reiterated. 

The letter signed by the Mining Minister, Takele Uma denied the occurrence of the situation that TKGM narrated as ‘hindrances’ for its operations. “Although the ministry does not accept the occurrence of the said events or that they excused performance even if they did, we have agreed to give your company one last opportunity to cure the non-performance on or before 31 January 2022 by procuring the necessary finances and performing the obligations that have become overdue.” the letter read. 

Tulu Kapi Gold Mine is situated 28km east of Ayra-Gulliso town in Oromia regional state. The mine is owned by KEFI Minerals who in late September, said that it has paused the launch of its Tulu Kapi gold project due to security concerns amid preparations for the launch of the development phase, which was expected in October. AS

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