East Africa Metals files mine permit application for Terakimti Oxide Gold Project, Ethiopia

AA – East Africa Metals Inc. (TSX VENTURE: EAM) (“East Africa” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the Company has filed the mine permitting application for the Terakimti Oxide Gold Project (the “Terakimti Project”) at the Company’s 70% owned Harvest Project located in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

Final draft documents have been approved by the Board of the Harvest Joint Venture, and the mine permit application has been formally submitted to the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum, and Natural Gas (the “Ministry of Mines”) for review. The Company anticipates the Ministry of Mines’ review will result in a recommendation to the Licensing Commission for approval of the license.

Terakimti Oxide Gold Project Profile:

  • Mineral Resource: 1,125,000 tonnes grading 3.2 grams and 24.0 grams silver per tonne containing 107,000 ounces of gold and 812,000 ounces of silver;
  • Simulated Heap Leach Recoveries: 75.3% gold and 39.7% silver;
  • Mining Method: Conventional open pit;
  • Processing: Heap leaching to produce gold-silver dore.

Proposed Mining Operation:

The Terakimti oxide deposit is proposed as an open pit mining operation followed by heap leaching and on site processing to produce gold-silver dore. The combination of near surface oxide gold and silver mineralization, hosted in soft rock when compared to other deposits, high and rapid extraction of gold at coarse crush sizes in metallurgical testwork, along with satisfactory percolation rates all support this strategy for the development of the Terakimti Project.

Project Infrastructure:

The Terakimti Project is located in the Tigray Region of Northern Ethiopia, approximately 600 kilometres north of the Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The region has regular air service and very good, modern transportation and power infrastructure. The existing transportation and power infrastructure is located close to the project site enhances the development potential of the proposed operation. The proposed mining operation would utilize grid power for the project, for which the nearest high tension power line is approximately 7 kilometres away. Primary road access to the site is by paved highway from the town of Shire, 40 kilometres south of the project. Shire has a population of approximately 60,000 people and sufficient services to serve as a base for off-site project activities. Local surface and groundwater are expected to be sufficient for a heap leaching operation, and the project would maximize recycling of process water.

Environmental Impact and Socio-Economic Assessment:

An independent Environmental Impact and Socio-Economic Assessment (“EISA”) study has been completed by Beles Engineering Pvt. Ltd. Co. of Ethiopia, and forms an integral part of the mine permit application. This study examined the beneficial and adverse aspects of the proposed mining operation and concluded that the local population is in favor of the project, and the anticipated benefits would be positive and very important to the local community and to the local and regional governments.

Andrew Lee Smith, President and CEO, stated, “Advancing the Terakimti Gold Oxide Project to the permitting stage will mark a significant milestone for Company and highlights the excellent performance the Company has achieved with its Ethiopian assets. The resource at Terakimti Project shares a similarity with other copper-gold projects in the region, such as the Bisha and Debarwa deposits, in that the initial mining opportunity was defined by the surface gold-oxide resource followed by mining of copper-gold-zinc sulphide resources. Management believes that over time, the potential exists for mining at Terakimti to begin with the gold silver oxide and then transition to high-grade supergene copper oxide and eventually the copper-gold sulphide resource. The Terakimti Oxide Gold Project will provide East Africa the opportunity to benefit from establishing the first heap leach commercial operation in the country, and generate cash flow to re-invest in exploration and development to grow the Company’s resources in Ethiopia, which currently stand at 926,000 gold equivalent ounces in the indicated category plus 860,000 gold equivalent ounces in the inferred category.”

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