LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 08/14/09 -- African Copper ("ACU" or the "Company") (AIM: ACU)(BOTSWANA:AFRICAN COPPER) announced today that it has filed its Second Quarter Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis for the six month period ended 30 June 2009 ("MD&A") on RNS and SEDAR (www.sedar.com). To review these documents on the Company website please see http://www.africancopper.com/i/pdf/2009-Q2_FS.pdf and http://www.africancopper.com/i/pdf/2009-Q2_MDA.pdf.
Corporate and financial highlights for the period:
- ZCI US$41m financing package and agreements negotiated and implemented
- GBP29million of previous impairment costs recognized in 2008 written back to balance sheet.
- ZCI Financing Package allows monetisation of mineral reserves through operational development
- Appointment of David Rodier, Chairman, and Jordan Soko, with wide industry experience to the Board
- Delisting from the Toronto Stock Exchange on 20 May 2009
Development and exploration upside:
- Mobilisation and mining activities recommenced at Mowana, in early August 2009
- Mowana open pit:
-- Open-pit reserve estimate - proven (10.82 Mt @1.0% Cu) and probable (3.98 Mt @1.4% Cu) mineral reserves of plus or minus 14.8 Mt @1.1%Cu containing 361 MM pounds of copper.
-- Run of mine grades potentially higher than modelled
-- Identified expansion opportunities close to surface & plant infrastructure
-- 83% of resources are potentially accessible by underground mining providing +20 years life
-- For information on the geological resource model see Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Estimates included in the report entitled "National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Mowana Mine, Botswana" dated 26 November 2007 by Read, Swatman and Voigt (Pty) Ltd which is available on www.sedar.com or on the Company's website at www.africancopper.com.
- Thakadu deposit, plans being made to convert advanced prospect to Mining Licence status
- Extensive Matsitama exploration tenements offer further blue sky potential
- Expected transition from operations start up to sustainable producer at Mowana:
-- Mine & plant established
-- Mining Operations recommenced with plant start up scheduled for late August.
-- Resumption of concentrate production estimated early September 2009
-- Long term off-take agreement in place.
Positive future outlook
- ZCI recapitalisation provides an established and experienced financial and management catalyst enabling ACU operations to grow to their full potential
- Quality, potentially low cost resource expected to begin production by the end of August 2009
- Wider portfolio expected to provide exploration upside
- New acquisitions and joint ventures will be considered on a strategic basis
Chris Fredericks, Chief Executive of African Copper commented:
"The publication of these results mark the start of a new stage in African Copper's development.
Following the ZCI funded recapitalisation, we look forward to the monetisation of our reserves base through near term production and sales. Production is planned to commence by the end of August 2009.
Finally, we will look to add further value for our shareholders by both considering our exploration options and through any potential acquisitions that might become available and will enhance the value of our portfolio.
With what we have achieved and what is now in place, we believe we can look forward to the future with renewed confidence."
This press release has been prepared under the supervision of Dave De'ath BSc (Hons), MSc, GDE-Mining and MIMMM, the Company's Manager of Geology of the Mowana Mine and a "qualified person" as such term is defined in Canadian National Instrument 43-101. Mr. De'ath has reviewed and approved the technical information in this press release.
Forward Looking Information
This news release contains "forward-looking information". Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning mineral resource and reserve estimates, the Company's goals and plans with respect to recommencing operations at the Mowana Mine, including the anticipated timing scheduled for the resumption of operations in late August 2009, Company's estimated timing for the resumption of concentrate production, the Company's overall and exploration strategy, including with respect to its consideration of future acquisitions and/or joint ventures, the Company's plans with respect to obtaining mining licences for Thakadu, the Company's expectations with respect to, and the anticipated potential for, the exploration of the Matsitama Project, and other statements which are not historical facts.
With respect to forward-looking information contained in this news release, the Company has made assumptions regarding, among other things, the necessary working capital that will be required for production to be recommenced at the Mowana Mine, the net present value calculations underlying the Company's determination that a partial reversal of the impairment charge recognized in 2008 is appropriate, the Company's ability to access debt and capital markets to meet its future funding requirements, if any, and the regulatory framework in Botswana with respect to, among other things, permits, licenses and authorizations.
Although the Company believes that its expectations reflected in forward-looking information are reasonable, such forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or the Company's projects in Botswana, or any of them, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such factors include, the defaulting under the financing package, ZCI failing to obtain shareholder approval of the convertible loan facility under the financing package, the financing package being insufficient to meet the Company's necessary working capital requirements for production to be recommenced at the Mowana Mine, adverse changes in any of the key assumptions of the Company regarding the net present value calculations underlying the Company's determination regarding the partial reversal of the impairment charge recognized in 2008, risks related to failure to convert estimated mineral resources to reserves, the possibility that actual circumstances will differ from the estimates and assumptions used in the current mining plan for the Mowana Mine (even if operations at the Mowana Mine recommence, there is no certainty that the production schedule, recoveries and/or operating costs will ever be achieved) future prices of copper, unexpected increases in capital or operating costs, possible variations in mineral resources, grade or recovery rates, failure of equipment or processes to operate and other risks of the mining industry, including political risks arising from operating in Africa, as well as those factors discussed under "Risks" in the MD&A.
Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The forward-looking information contained herein, unless stated otherwise, is made as of the date of this news release and the Company makes no responsibility to update them or to revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
The mineral resource and mineral reserve figures referred to in this news release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of minerals will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While the Company believes that the resource and reserve estimates referred to in this news release are well established, by their nature resource and reserve estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on the Company. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration.
African Copper Plc
Chief Executive Officer
+27 (11) 467 2360
African Copper Plc
Chief Financial Officer
(416) 847 4866
Numis Securities Limited
+44 (0)20 7260 1000
Numis Securities Limited
+44 (0)20 7260 1000
College Hill Associates
Paddy Blewer / Nick Elwes
+44 207 457 2020