APR 18, 2006 - 02:00 ET
African Copper Plc: 'African Copper' or the 'Company'-Proposed Placing of New Ordinary Shares
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - April 18, 2006) -
NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES
African Copper Plc (TSX:ACU)(AIM:ACU)(BSE:African Copper), a multi-listed international exploration and development company, announces that it is proposing to undertake a global placing of ordinary shares ("Placing"), in order to fund the development of its mineral projects in Botswana. In Canada, the Company has filed a preliminary short form prospectus with regulators in all of the provinces of Canada in conjunction with a marketed offering in that country and the United States of Subscription Receipts through a syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities Corporation and Raymond James Limited and including Paradigm Capital Inc. and BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. (the "Canadian Underwriters"). Each Subscription Receipt represents an agreement of the holder to acquire and the Company to issue, without payment of any additional consideration or further action taken by the holder, one ordinary share of the Company for each Subscription Receipt held, contingent upon shareholder approval and admission of the ordinary shares to trading on AIM, a market of the London Stock Exchange. In the United Kingdom, Numis Securities Limited ("Numis") is acting as broker in a concurrent Placing of ordinary shares and proposes to act as joint underwriter alongside the Canadian Underwriters.
Preliminary Short Form Prospectus
As the Placing is being partly carried out with retail investors in Canada, the Company is required by Canadian regulations to file a preliminary short form prospectus with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada. This preliminary short form prospectus, which was filed on 13 April 2006, is subject to receipt of comments from such regulatory authorities. As announced on 3 April 2006, the Company has also filed a Technical Report prepared by the Company's technical experts, ACA Howe, on the Company's projects in Botswana. The preliminary short form prospectus and the Technical Report can be viewed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
The Placing will be subject to the approval of shareholders. No underwriting agreement in relation to the Placing has yet been entered into by the Company; accordingly there is no guarantee that the Placing will proceed.
Use of Proceeds
The proceeds of the Placing will be used in part to fund trial underground mining and underground exploration of the sulphide deposit at the Company's Dukwe Project. It is intended that these activities will be undertaken concurrently and reflect the desire of the Company to commence the mining of the higher grade supergene ore and to convert the sulphide mineral resources into mineral reserves as quickly as possible. The budget for the trial underground mining as reported by ACA Howe is approximately US$33 million. The proceeds will also be used to fund the construction of a flotation concentrator processing plant, budgeted by ACA Howe at approximately US$49 million.
A portion of the proceeds of the Placing will also be used over a period of two years to bring the Thakadu-Makala copper deposits to the pre-feasibility stage. The budget for this work as reported by ACA Howe is approximately US$9 million. Additional Placing proceeds will also be spent over a two to three year period to fund the systematic exploration of the Matsitama Project area outside the Thakadu-Makala area. The budget for this work as reported by ACA Howe is approximately US$8 million.
The Company has today commenced marketing in Europe and North America in relation to the Placing. It is expected that the marketing will continue for approximately three weeks from today's date. At such time that the Company enters into underwriting agreements with the Canadian Underwriters and placing agreement with Numis, the Company will send a circular to its shareholders seeking their approval to authorise the Directors to allot the necessary shares in order for the global Placing to proceed.
This press release may contain or refer to forward looking information, including resource estimates and development plans, and is based on current expectations that involve a number of business risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward looking statement include, but are not limited to, failure to establish estimated resources and reserves, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, inflation, changes in exchange rates, changes in equity markets, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and other factors. Forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as at the date hereof and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, we assume no responsibility to update them or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:African Copper Plc
David Jones / Joseph Hamilton
+44 (0)20 7321 3721
Numis Securities Limited
John Harrison / Nick Westlake / Nick Stamp
+44 (0)20 7776 1590
Justine Howarth / Ana Ribeiro
+44 (0)20 7493 3713
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