It has been a challenging year for Kokkus, our flagship project in Kazakhstan, after the success achieved in 2022. The business has been constrained by a lack of funding which we had originally expected in early 2023 from Canadian investors failing to materialise. We were thus not able to conduct any drilling on the project during the year, as planned.
1.0 Kokkus Au Project
We have, however, been successful in extending the licence over Kokkus until the end of 2024, when we will convert it into a Mining Licence, together with permission to carry out a 12,000m drilling program plus other work during 2024. This program is expected to increase the resource of Kokkus to from a current 0.5m oz Au to +1.5m oz Au and to test the other mineralised structures at K5 and K10 which are parallel to K1,2 &3 (see Figures 1,2,3 & 4 below).
We continue to move ahead with plans for a stock market listing and remain confident of this potential opportunity. We have now formally engaged a London broker, Tavira Securities, to assist in specific plans for a pre-IPO fundraising of a staged $10m, to cover the drilling and exploration costs, as well as other costs before IPO. This funding will be sufficient to fund Kokkus through to production stage, including a BFS (Bankable Feasibility Study), as well as complete the ownership to 100%. It is planned to complete the pre-feasibility study which is a key step towards the issue of a Mining Licence, expected to be completed during late 2024. The conversations are progressing well, and we have received a preliminary term sheet for investment that your Board is now considering.
We have reached agreement with one of our original shareholders to divest our current 100% interest in the East Balkhash licence, in exchange for cancellation of the debt due to the investor (c.$7.2m) plus the return to Scythian of their shareholding (3.8m shares). These shares will remain in Treasury and may be cancelled in due course. This has the effect of providing an incremental % ownership to all remaining shareholders. We believe this to be in the best interests of all shareholders, and will provide a strengthened balance sheet, to help fund future growth. Kazakhstan continues to offer interesting acquisition opportunities, and we are also actively evaluating a number of potential projects, that will enhance shareholder value.
Kokkus Au Deposit
The Kokkus resource has not changed since February 2023, but our understanding of the controlling structures has changed substantially.
Figure 1: New Kokkus Structural Model-Kokkus is a Triplicate Fold-Thrust system.
Currently drilling has been restricted to the small black circle where the ore body outcrops over 500m. In 2024, drilling will increase along the strike where we have a zone of high grade Au in soils (red /yellow dots) and there is no outcrop, over 2km, and at depth below the initial drilling. Also, we will target fold hinges K5 and K10 to intersect the trust zones in these fold hinges at depth as on the surface there is a barren silica cap which we need to drill below. The K1 thrust zone was intersected a number of times in 2022 drilling giving a best intersection of 56m @ 5.6g/t Au, with a high grade zone of 148g/t/m in its core.
Figure 2: Photo of Kokkus high grade core in the K1 thrust zone which is a mylonite zone containing a very high % of pyrite. True width of the K1 thrust varies between 40-60m.
Figure 3: Photo of the Kokkus Outcrop and areas to be drilling in 2024, K10 is 600m behind the K5 ridge, see Figure 5 below.
Figure 4; Digital elevation model (DEM) map showing the Kokkus outcrop, and the relationship between K1, K5 and K10
2.0 Scythian Copper
Scythian discovered a large Cu-Au porphyry system in Kazakhstan in late 2023. Scythian has negotiated a 50/50 joint venture with IG Global, a US based company, and the joint venture company has applied for 2 new exploration licences over the area. IG will fund and carry out exploration in the first 2 years, allowing Scythian to focus on exploring and developing of Kokkus and IPO. A new company has been established "Scythian Copper Ltd" to hold Scythian's interest in the project which will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company.
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