Kefi Minerals (LON:KEFI) is now focused on finalising full development funding for its Tulu Kapi gold mine in Ethiopia ahead of targeted gold production in 2017.
Last week the AIM firm unveiled its preferred mining contractor - a subsidiary of Ausdrill - to cover certain pre-mining earthworks as well as the life-of-mine open pit operation.
It also appointed Sedgman Ltd as its preferred plant and start-up contractor for the construction of the mine.
Kefi has said its peak funding requirement remains at US$120mln and around US$50 million is expected to come from debt and the rest from a gold stream facility of around US$50 million.
A further US$20mln equity contribution is likely to come from the government of Ethiopia.
The proposed contract terms from Ausdrill and Sedgman has allowed Kefi to increase its planned gold production to 105,000 ounces per year for the first five years, it also noted.
The details came in an operational update for the three months to end-September, which was a quarter of significant progress on the ground, according to Harry Anagnostaras-Adams, KEFI's executive chairman.
He said: "At our fully-permitted Tulu Kapi gold project, we tabled the 2015 DFS for financier review on schedule and on specification.
"Having just appointed the project contractors, we can now trigger the formal funding approval processes.
"In Saudi Arabia, we are preparing the mining licence application for the Jibal Qutman gold project. Our continued exploration results indicate significant potential at Jibal Qutman, which is targeted to follow shortly after the start-up of Tulu Kapi in Ethiopia, and Hawiah."