Kilimapesa Gold Mine – Gold Promise in East Africa
With its highly promising assets, junior mining and exploration company Caracal Gold is well on its way to becoming a significant gold producer in East Africa.
Caracal Gold was established to acquire and develop under-exploited gold mining opportunities in East Africa, with the medium-term goal of producing circa 50,000 ounces of gold per annum and building a resource in excess of 3 million ounces.
The company is currently focused on the optimisation of its existing producing asset, the Kilimapesa Gold Mine in Kenya, and is in the process of acquiring a prospective new mine opportunity in Tanzania. With a clear path to grow production and resources both organically and through strategic acquisitions, the Company will look to utilise its experienced executive team to develop Caracal’s gold production profile in the East Africa region.
Kilimapesa Gold Mine is located in a mining-friendly jurisdiction in Kenya. Caracal’s flagship project has a mining licence, a recently enhanced 705,000oz JORC resource, an established, producing, shallow underground mine and processing plant as well as an extensive prospecting permit. Gold ore is produced on-site and exported to international refiners, offering immediate value uplift through revenue generation. Further upside can be seen through plant expansion plus reserve and resource upgrade.
Caracal acquired 100% ownership of Kilimapesa last year, and the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in September. Caracal is also listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange & is currently in the process of being listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, which will make Caracal the first gold and related minerals miner on the exchange.
Under Strong Leadership
“We are a very ambitious junior gold company with a great team of people. Our overall strategy is to build production and profitability across our portfolio, targeting +50,000oz p.a. gold production and +3Moz JORC Compliant Resources. At Kilimapesa we have a plan underway to increase gold production to 24,000oz p.a. and improve operational efficiencies,” says CEO Robbie McCrae.
“We have had great success on this front to date, with production and processing output both increasing, and exploration drilling successfully growing the resource and ultimately the life of mine.”
McCrae is referring to the recent Mineral Resource Estimate update for the Kilimapesa Hill Deposit, one of two key deposits at the Company’s flagship mine. which takes the project’s total resource to 705,000oz contained gold and crucially supports at least a 10-year Life of Mine expansion based on the current 24,000oz per annum target.
It looks like more good news is still to come with further resource expansion anticipated, as drilling at the project remains ongoing.
“One of the key things that sets us apart is that, unlike most junior companies, we were very fortunate to have acquired a producing asset right up front. This greatly de-risks us and provides us with a see-through value whilst we now pursue additional, value accretive exploration opportunities” McCrae points out.
Caracal said it processed 54,121 tonnes of ore in the first quarter of 2022 (versus 51,732 tons in the fourth quarter of 2021) at an average grade of 1.75g/t Au, resulting in gold sales of 1,226 ounces – an increase of 17% on the previous quarter’s sales of 1,047 ounces.
Since then, operational initiatives have continued to be implemented and the resource has been expanded. Whilst drilling to build the resource remains ongoing, McCrae notes that, “the structural and grade information gained will assist greatly in better planning of the underground workings going forward.”
McCrae affirms that the company’s strong management team is one of the factors that distinguish the company from others. “We’ve attracted top talent from some of the major gold mining companies in the world, with wide-ranging experience in exploration and mining on both managerial and technical levels. The high calibre of talent joined Caracal because we are highly ambitious with a fantastic asset and have a clear delivery plan to make Kilimapesa a serious mining operation.”
McCrae himself has an impressive professional track record, with 20 years of experience in the mining and exploration industry. Over the years, he has been involved in the management of exploration, development and financing of projects in over fifteen African countries for both private and listed companies.
Ahead of Schedule
“One of the big highlights for me is that Kilimapesa is one of the first gold mines in the Kenyan gold industry. The gold industry here for us is what Tanzania was 20 years ago, Tanzania is a well established gold mining country and we believe Kenya has the same potential. We are one of only three companies currently pioneering this industry in Kenya, and we’re very well positioned to be part of the country’s gold growth story.”
With the similarities between Kenya and Tanzania, it is arguably unsurprising that Tanzania is an attractive investment destination for Caracal. The company is in the process of acquiring the Nyakafuru Project, located in the world-class Lake Victoria Gold Fields in the north of the country, 60km from Barrick Gold’s 18Moz Bulyanhulu Gold Mine.
“The project provides a major new gold mine development opportunity for Caracal.” McCrae tells us.
With established high-grade shallow gold resources of 658,751oz at 2.08g/t contained within four deposits over 280 km2, and the project proven to be amenable to development as a large scale conventional open pit operation, the company is understandably keen to progress this asset, with drilling due to get underway later this year.
The acquisition of Nyakafuru takes Caracal’s total Mineral Resource to 26.36Mt @ 1.61g/t gold for 1.365moz contained gold; an impressive achievement for a company not yet listed a year.
Looking ahead McCrae is confident “2022 is shaping up to be a game changing year for Caracal. With expansion at Kilimapesa ongoing, both in terms of production output and project resources, and the finalisation of the acquisition of Nyakafuru in our sights, things are undoubtedly set to be busy.”
“We are firmly poised for growth. We have a fantastic portfolio of assets and are well on our way in establishing Caracal as a leading East African gold producer,” he concluded.