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Nyota: entering the next phase at Tulu Kapi

The company has hired SRK Consulting to start a Preliminary Economic Assessment and is assembling key personnel to take its flagship gold project in Ethiopia forward.

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Nyota Minerals’ (LON:NYO, ASX:NYO) flagship Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia is moving into its next phase of development, as the company hires SRK Consulting and assembles key personnel to take the project forward. With exploration work to date providing Nyota with sufficient confidence in Tulu Kapi, SKR has been hired to complete a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) Feasibility Study.

"The Tulu Kapi Gold Project has reached a level that provides sufficient confidence to warrant the appointment of both SRK to generate the PEA and additional key personnel to manage the next stage of its development,” Nyota chief executive Melissa Sturgess commented.

“The PEA, which is a more rigorous and robust version of the desktop Scoping Study completed last year, will provide a detailed assessment of the capital cost, scheduling and conceptual design of a future mine at Tulu Kapi and will guide the company's strategy going forward.”

Since Tulu Kapi’s 2009 scoping study, completed in September by Venmyn Rand, the company has rapidly progressed its exploration efforts, and completed more than 90 additional drill holes. The SKR PEA will now build on the Scoping Study and incorporate the new data - the new 1.38Moz JORC resource completed in May, and the latest drilling data being gathered between 17 April and 17 July 2010.

Overall Nyota highlights that the additional information will include assay, geological and geotechnical data for an estimated additional 40 reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drill holes (DDH), as well as important information from a close-spaced ground magnetic geophysical survey, geological interpretation and social, environmental and infrastructural information relating to the project’s future development.

Specifically, SKR has been mandated to review and revise Tulu Kapi’s gold resource estimates, using current gold prices and a range of cut-offs; to produce the PEA – considering geology, resource and exploration potential, mining, processing, engineering, infrastructure, capital and operating costs and scheduling; conduct economic modelling and analysis, both pre-tax and post-tax, and including royalties.

The consultant is also required to investigate the related considerations concerning the construction and operation of a gold mining operation and to carry out a separate environment, social and community report.

“The rapid expansion of the project has led to the appointment of a number of key personnel. These new additions to the team will help to facilitate the significant increase in geological and other technical data being generated by four drill rigs,” Nyota stated.

According to Nyota, the recently appointment of chief operating officer, Terry Tucker, who joined the company in May 2010, has prompted the creation of an “expanded multi-disciplinary” team in Ethiopia. Joining Tucker will be Kevin Piepgrass as exploration manager, Felichismi Mwijage as project geologist and Channa Pelpola as manager of environment and community affairs.

The company said the highly qualified and experienced professionals have been recruited to enable proper execution of an expanded exploration programme together with the commencement of feasibility and development work.

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