MAY 10, 2007 - 02:30 ET
African Copper Signs 5-year Mining Contract for its Dukwe Copper Project in Botswana
Mining costs expected to be US$1.80 - $2.50 per tonne
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - May 10, 2007) - African Copper ("African Copper" or the "Company") (TSX:ACU)(AIM:ACU)(BSE:AFRICAN COPPER) has signed a five-year contract with Moolman Mining Botswana (Pty) Ltd. ("Moolmans"), an operating Group of Aveng Limited, for the mining at its Dukwe project located 120 kilometers northwest of Francistown, Botswana in southern Africa.
This standard mining contract includes both the mobilization and demobilization of the mining fleet which, at full contingent, will consist of three face-loading shovels and twenty-six 100-tonne haul trucks. African Copper expects this fleet to mobilize over a six to ten month period beginning in July 2007 and be operational the following month. It is anticipated that the mining cost will be in the range of US$1.80 - $2.50 per tonne of material moved (both ore and waste rock) over the course of this five-year, renewable contract.
"The signing of this contract signals African Copper's commitment to achieving production in the first quarter of 2008," commented Joseph Hamilton, CEO. "We welcome the participation of a world-class surface miner such as Moolmans at the Dukwe project. Our negotiations with Moolmans have been open and frank at all times and we look forward to continuing this cordial and professional relationship with our new mining partners as we take Dukwe through to production."
"Moolmans are looking forward to the mining operations and believe that the professional manner in which the tender process and subsequent discussions have been handled are a very good sign of things to come", says Brian Wilmot, Managing Director of Moolmans. "We are putting together a top team of people on the ground that will be getting the usual support in the areas of training, logistics, workshops, technical matters and financial services"
Currently, Moolmans has a fleet of six scrapers in operation on site to facilitate the pre-stripping of the surface material. Through this pre-stripping process, African Copper anticipates the stockpiling of 180,000 to 210,000 tonnes of material prior to the commissioning of the 1-million tonne-per-year concentrator, now under construction.
African Copper, PLC
African Copper is a tri-listed (AIM, TSX, Botswana Stock Exchange) international exploration and development company. African Copper is developing its first copper mine at the Dukwe Project scheduled to commence production in the first quarter of 2008. The flotation concentrator at Dukwe has been designed for a 3,000 tonne-per-day throughput to produce approximately 44 million pounds of copper in concentrate annually at full production. Initial production is expected to be from open pit, followed by underground mining of sulphides.
The Company's other interests are the Matsitama exploration concessions adjacent to Dukwe. Drilling at the Thakadu Copper-Silver Project has returned up to 4.5% copper and 70 g/t silver over mineable widths. The Matsitama area contains a further 9 high priority drill-ready targets and 35 lower priority targets. African Copper has approximately 131 million shares outstanding.
Moolman Mining Botswana (Pty) Ltd.
Moolmans, an operating group within Aveng, has a history dating back to the early 1960's and currently operates in six African countries, mining more than 13 million tonnes of waste and ore per month. In Botswana, Moolmans has been established since 2001 and with the inclusion of Dukwe will mine in excess 3.5 million tonnes per month in this country alone. Moolmans has mined a range of commodities for various clients and will certainly add value to the Dukwe project.
This press release contains forward-looking information including statements concerning exploration and mine development plans, timing of the development of the Company's projects in Botswana, exploration results, requirements for additional capital, and other statements which are not historical facts. When used in this press release, the words such as "schedule", "could", "plan", "estimate", "expect", "believe", "intend", "may" 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, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, future prices of copper, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs and availability of financing needed in the future, changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates, delays in the development of projects, conclusions of economic evaluations, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, and other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry. Forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, and other factors that could case actual results to differ materially from expected results. 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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:African Copper Plc
Vice President, Investor Relations
Numis Securities Limited (NOMAD)
+44 (0) 20 7260 1000
Numis Securities Limited (NOMAD)
+44 (0) 20 7260 1000
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