Aberdeen International Inc.
TSX : AAB

Aberdeen International Inc.

April 01, 2016 17:30 ET

Aberdeen Updates Mine Operations at African Thunder Platinum

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 1, 2016) - ABERDEEN INTERNATIONAL INC. ("Aberdeen", or the "Company") (TSX:AAB) wishes to provide an update on mining activities at African Thunder Platinum.

African Thunder Platinum ("ATP") has decided to temporarily suspend mining operations at the Smokey Hills platinum-palladium mine effective immediately. As previously disclosed in our press release dated February 22, 2016, ATP was engaged in a process to review mine activities for 2016 including consultation with its workforce. ATP concluded that the best way to optimize the long-term value of the Smokey Hills mine and 2,000 ton-per-day plant facility was to suspend operations and focus on the planning and permitting required to optimize production and costs in the future.

Since ATP hired new management led by COO Rodney O'Reilly, in December, production rates and efficiency increased, equipment availability improved, costs decreased, and the safety record improved. However the continued weak platinum and palladium prices have continued to drag on cash flow. With several more months of underground development required to achieve full production, ATP decided it made the most sense to defer this expenditure until metal prices improve, and other optimization plans can be implemented.

Among the expected future optimizations, ATP has commenced the permitting process for open cast production at the mine to add to low cost tonnage that can be mined upon restart. The open cast is a critical development to the overall plan, as it should provide additional tonnage and improve operating flexibility. Permitting of the open pit is expected to take the remainder of 2016.

In addition to the operational improvements currently being addressed, the major shareholders of ATP, Aberdeen and Pala Investments are reviewing options to restructure the financial position of ATP to provide greater financial flexibility and less risk upon the future restart of operations.

David Stein, President and CEO of Aberdeen commented, "We know the decision to suspend the mine is never an easy one, however we commend ATP for taking a disciplined approach to preserving long-term value with the Smokey Hills operation. Despite achieving many operational successes over the past few months, producing metal in this environment of low prices appears to be wasteful and unnecessary. By combining the mine optimization plan with an improved financial structure, we expect that ATP will be able to return to operations once we see positive movements in the platinum and palladium pricing."

Cautionary Notes

Except for statements of historical fact contained herein, the information in this press release constitutes "forward-looking information" within the meaning of Canadian securities law. Such forward-looking information may be identified by words such as "plans", "proposes", "estimates", "intends", "expects", "believes", "may", "will" and include without limitation, statements regarding, proceeds to be received on closing or subsequently, the ability of the Company to generate additional value for shareholders as a result of such transactions, past success as an indicator of future success; net asset value of the Company; the potential of investee companies and the appreciation of their share price; the Company's plan of business operations; industry opportunities and dynamics and anticipated returns. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, among others, metal prices, competition, financing risks, acquisition risks, risks inherent in the mining industry, and regulatory risks. Most of these factors are beyond the control of the Company. Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking information. Except as otherwise required by applicable securities statutes or regulation, the Company expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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