In a stock market statement, the company highlighted that the residual funding requirement has dropped from US$289mln (a figure foreseen in January 2014) to US$32mln as a result of the Oryx arrangement and it is now seeing a further reduction to US$24mln.
The additional reduction in funding needs follows refinements to planned capital expenditure and contingency provisions.
KEFI noted that it is now focusing on sourcing part of the residual funding requirement from a financing facility against ore stockpiles, estimated to include US$15mln of contained gold at the start-up of production.
Negotiations are underway for the remaining requirement via project-level equity, the company added, whilst saying its preference would be to retain majority ownership and control of the project.
“KEFI intends to optimise the finance mix in consultation with the project syndicate, in particular the Government of Ethiopia and principal financier Oryx, as we approach closing targeted for Q4 2017,” it said.