NOV 14, 2007 - 17:53 ET
African Copper Releases Third Quarter 2007 Results
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2007) - African Copper Plc (TSX:ACU)(AIM:ACU)(BOTSWANA:AFRICAN COPPER) -
"We are very pleased with the progress being made on the development of the Mowana Mine. The processing plant remains on track for completion by the end of 2007" said Joseph Hamilton, CEO. "The total cost estimate for the flotation concentrator and related facilities is estimated to be ZAR 464.4 million (Pound Sterling 33.1 million or US$67.4 million). This is an 8.2% increase over the initial 2006 estimate. Optimization studies for the open pit are essentially complete. We are awaiting delivery of a feasibility study that includes the capital cost for a dense media separation ("DMS") plant which could increase the efficiency of the concentrate production process. An updated NI 43-101 compliant technical report (the "Technical Report") covering the entire Mowana mine project is expected to be delivered before the end of November."
- Q3 net gain of Pound Sterling 393,693 or 0.28p per share. Year-to-date net gain of Pound Sterling 264,220 or 0.20p per share. Higher bank interest receivable, foreign exchange gains and lower costs related to share-based compensation all contributed to the gain.
- Capital expenditures on the development of the Mowana Mine amounted to Pound Sterling 10.3 million during the three months ended 30 September 2007 and Pound Sterling 20.4 million during the nine months ended 30 September 2007.
- As at 30 September 2007 the Company had assets of approximately Pound Sterling 79.0 million (2006 - Pound Sterling 70.0 million) with gross cash balance totalling Pound Sterling 34.6 million (2006 - Pound Sterling 53.3 million).
Update on the Development of the Mowana Mine
- There are approximately 400 employees and contractors on site.
- Moolman Mining Botswana (Pty) Ltd ("Moolmans") has started mobilization of the mining equipment and commenced pre-stripping. Drill-blast-load operations commenced in the quarter.
- Company has placed 88 out of a forecasted 108 equipment orders. A further 11 orders have been initiated and will be placed shortly. Of the remaining 9, only two relate to the start up of the project.
- The Company has hired all senior supervisors and interviewed all concentrator staff.
- Subsequent to quarter end, the construction of ten out of the fifty staff houses began.
- Operating policies continue to be implemented at the Mowana Mine.
- An amended EIA for a fuel farm was given approval in October 2007.
- Test work on a DMS has been completed. A feasibility study of the DMS plant and the Technical Report on the Mowana Mine should be available by the end of November.
- Pre-stripping activities have accelerated with the arrival of major mining equipment. About 4.8 million tonnes of material have been moved by the end of October; the current plan estimates that 7.5 million tonnes will be moved by year end.
- Construction activities are expected to be completed by late in the fourth quarter of 2007, cold commissioning of the processing plant beginning early in the first quarter of 2008 and hot commissioning beginning in mid to late first quarter resulting in the production of first concentrate early in the second quarter of 2008.
Update on the Exploration Activities
- Exploration within the Mining Licence has encountered new mineralization about 350 metres south of the pit boundary, and drilling in the second and third quarters of 2007 concentrated on the delineation of this new resource that can be incorporated into a mine plan.
- Outside of the Mining Licence, follow-up drilling was completed in the third quarter to examine targets identified through a geophysical survey. It is the Company's intention to search for open-pit deposits in these areas. Drill results are being compiled as assays are received.
- Exploration continues in the vicinity of the Thakadu deposits to define further mineralisation that may enhance the economics around a stand-alone plant at the deposit. Alternatively, the Thakadu deposit may be scheduled into the Mowana life-of-mine plan, if insufficient material is identified to support a stand-alone operation at this site.
- Work continues at Nakalakwana Hill where a low-grade copper-gold system has been identified. Results of a 7-hole Phase 1 drill programme will be released by the end of November 2007. A Phase 2 programme has commenced with two holes completed to date.
- Surface trenching at Gaokae has been completed and results are being received for a large scale geochemical survey that has been completed over this area. Gaokae is a nickel target within ultramafic to mafic intrusions at the basal part of the Matsitama schist belt. When all results have been received and assessed, a drill programme will be designed and implemented.
- Under Botswana legislation, the Company was required to drop 50% of the surface area covered by the Matsitama exploration licenses at the end of the first quarter of 2007. The Company applied to the Geological Survey of Botswana to keep approximately 80% of the surface area of the licenses. Early in the third quarter, the Geological Survey approved the application to retain 88% of the ground.
A full Management's Discussion and Analysis of results for the quarter and nine months ended 30 September 2007 and Financial Statements for the Company for the quarter and nine months ended 30 September 2007 are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com or the Company's website at www.africancopper.com. These documents can also be obtained on application to the Company.
African Copper PLC
African Copper is a tri-listed (AIM, TSX, Botswana Stock Exchange) international exploration and development company. The Company is currently developing the Mowana Mine at the Dukwe Project in Botswana, southern Africa, and anticipates copper production in the first half of 2008. The Company's other interests are the 3,500sq km Matsitama exploration concession adjacent to the Mowana Mine property, which contains two known copper deposits and numerous base metal exploration targets. African Copper has approximately 139.6 million shares outstanding.
Except for historical information contained in this press release relating to African Copper, certain disclosure statements and information contained herein constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning mineral resource estimates, future production, exploration and mine development plans, potential mineral resources, potential mineralization, the future price of copper, cost estimates, timing of the development of the Company's projects in Botswana, including without limitation commencement of production at the Company's Mowana Mine, estimated mining and capital costs, exploration results, requirements for additional capital, the possibility that future exploration results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations, the impact of exchange rates and the timing and possible outcome of pending and future regulatory applications and other statements which are not historical facts. When used in this document, the words such as "anticipate" "could" "plan" "estimate" "expect" "intend" "may" "potential" "should" "will" "believe" "target" and similar expressions are forward-looking statements.
Although the Company believes that its expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and no assurance can be given that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements include risks related to failure to convert estimated mineral resources to reserves, delays in the development of projects, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, future prices of copper, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, political risks arising from operating in Africa, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, conclusions of economic evaluations, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, uninsured risks and other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry.
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 statements, 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 statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and the Company makes no responsibility to update them or to revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
Further information about our properties, to download a copy of our Annual Report or any technical report or to access our Press Release Archive please visit www.sedar.com or our website at www.africancopper.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:African Copper Plc
Numis Securities Limited (NOMAD)
John Harrison / James Black
+44 (0) 20 7260 1000
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