Despite the ongoing challenges around the Covid-19 pandemic, Aim-listed Katoro Gold says it continued to make significant progress across its project portfolio during the six months ended June 30.
During the period, the company raised £960 000 (gross) through a placing and subscription of new ordinary shares.
The company successfully completed a maiden rotary air blast (RAB) drill programme targeting the discovery of nickel and platinum-group metals (PGMs) at the Haneti joint venture (JV) project, in Tanzania, despite substantial challenges presented by Covid-19 and the extreme rainy conditions.
Haneti is a large-scale polymetallic project covering a vast prospective area in central Tanzania, where the principal target zone is an 80-km-long ultra-mafic belt with grades from surface sampling of up to 13.6% nickel and 2.33 g/t combined PGMs.
Katoro holds a 65% ownership interest in Haneti, with the balance held by Power Metal Resources.
During the reporting period, Katoro completed a 50-hole, 1 965 m, maiden RAB drill programme at Mihanza Hill and Mwaka Hill and collected 1 965 samples.
Following analysis of the assay results, an earlier decision to progress to a diamond core drilling programme in order to test for nickel sulphide mineralisation at depth, was confirmed.
Subsequent refined planning and budgeting of the diamond drilling programme, as well as the selection and engagement process for a suitable drilling contractor has been submitted for review and approval.
Katoro also announced the results of a comprehensive competent person's report (CPR) on the results and findings of technical and financial work that was conducted on the Blyvoor gold tailings project, in South Africa.
In early 2020, the company entered into a strategic gold production opportunity in South Africa, focused on the reprocessing of an existing 1.34-million-ounce gold tailings resource.
Katoro entered into a binding conditional agreement to form a 50:50 incorporated joint venture (JV) to advance the project to near-term production.
During the reporting period, Katoro and its JV partners announced the results of a comprehensive CPR on the gold resource, based on the results and findings of advanced technical and financial work conducted on the project.
The CPR comprised an advanced prefeasibility level study, a South African Code for Reporting Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves-compliant reserve and resource statement, and a South African Mineral Asset Valuation report for Blyvoor Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) 1, 6 and 7 and Doornfontein TSF 1, 2 and 3.
The findings of the CPR were subjected to the results of confirmatory, optimisation metallurgical test work.
Following receipt of all the outstanding metallurgical test results, the findings of the CPR were validated, and the company could proceed to further engage with prospective funders to a juncture where several parties recently submitted initial funding offers or proposals that were within the broad funding requirements and expectations of the company.
Post reporting period, Katoro says it has continued to make significant progress on all aspects of the business.
A period of limited political unrest in South Africa temporarily delayed the funding process when some of the shortlisted parties requested additional time to re-assess the country risk profile as a result of the unrest.
However, Katoro announced that discussions with these potential funders have since resumed and the JV partners hope to conclude a final funding arrangement for Blyvoor during the latter part of the year.
Finalisation of future engineering, procurement and construction, mining contractor and operator appointment will follow on conclusion of the funding.