African Copper Plc
TSX : ACU
AIM : ACU

African Copper Plc

May 15, 2009 13:31 ET

African Copper Plc: Natasa Mining Limited ("Natasa") Announcement

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 15, 2009) - African Copper PLC (AIM:ACU)(TSX:ACU)(BOTSWANA:AFRICAN COPPER) -

Zambia Copper Investments Limited

(Registered in Bermuda)

(South African registration number 1970/000023/10)

JSE share code: ZCI & ISIN: BMG988431240

Euronext share code: BMG988431240

Zambia Copper Investments Limited ('ZCI') and African Copper Plc ('ACU')

Natasa Mining Limited ("Natasa") announcement

ACU and ZCI note today's announcement issued by Natasa in respect of its acquisition of (i) bonds with a face value of BWP149.6 million (US$ 21 million) issued by ACU's wholly owned subsidiary Messina Copper (Botswana) (Proprietary) Limited ("Messina") (the "Bonds") and (ii) other indebtedness of Messina. The announcement also outlines Natasa's lodging of a petition with the High Court of Botwsana to seek an order for the provisional liquidation of Messina.

ACU confirms that Messina has been served with a copy of the petition and is currently reviewing its contents with ZCI. At this point, ACU intends to dispute the validity of certain claims made in the petition. In particular, both the quantum of the security interest which Natasa has over ACU's residential estate as well as the extent to which that interest encumbers the movable assets of Messina. ACU is confident that the petition can be defeated.

At no time since acquiring the bonds and other indebtedness of ACU and its subsidiaries has Natasa made any meaningful attempts to engage ACU in a dialogue concerning the indebtedness and it therefore appears that the indebtedness was acquired for the sole purpose of forcing a liquidation of Messina. In addition, following notification of the repayment date by Natassa on 7 May 2009 to pay the outstanding US$1.5 million bridge loan and US$2.3 million of trade debt acquired by Natassa, Natasa has frustrated ACU attemps to pay these amounts in full.

ACU and ZCI believe in the future of the Mowana mine and will consider their options and update the market in due course.

About ZCI

ZCI is a Johannesburg Stock Exchange ('JSE') and Euronext (Paris) listed, Bermuda incorporated, mining investment company. ZCI previously owned 65 per cent. (subsequently sold down to 28 per cent. in 2005) of the Konkola Copper Mine ('KCM') in Zambia but sold its residual stake in 2008 and is looking to invest in Africa-based mining companies.

About ACU

ACU is an international exploration and development company incorporated in England and Wales and tri-listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Botswana Stock Exchange. ACU is involved in the exploration and development of copper deposits in Botswana and is currently developing its first copper mine at the Mowana Mine and holds permits in exploration properties at the Matsitama Project. The Mowana Mine is located in the northeastern portion of Botswana and the Matsitama Project is contiguous to the southern boundary of the Mowana Mine.

Canaccord Adams Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (the 'FSA'), is acting exclusively for ZCI and no-one else in relation to the Financing Package and will not be responsible to any person other than ZCI under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, the rules of the FSA or otherwise for providing the protections afforded to its clients or for any matter concerning the Financing Package or for providing advice in relation to the Financing Package or in relation to the contents of this announcement or any other transaction, arrangement or matter referred to herein. Canaccord Adams Limited can be contacted at Cardinal Place, 7th Floor, 80 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5JL.

Numis Securities Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the FSA, is acting exclusively for ACU and no-one else in relation to the Financing Package and will not be responsible to any person other than ACU under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, the rules of the FSA or otherwise for providing the protections afforded to its clients or for any matter concerning the Financing Package or for providing advice in relation to the Financing Package or in relation to the contents of this announcement or any other transaction, arrangement or matter referred to herein. Numis Securities Limited can be contacted at The London Stock Exchange Building, 10 Paternoster Square London EC4M 7LT.

The release, publication or distribution of this announcement into certain jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom and Canada may be restricted by law and therefore persons in such jurisdictions into which this announcement is released, published or distributed should inform themselves about and observe any such restrictions. Any failure to comply with any such restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws or regulations of such jurisdictions.

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains forward-looking information. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that may occur in the future (including, without limitation, the claim that Natasa's petition can be defeated and other statements which are not historical facts) are forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of ACU to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking information, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, ACU. Factors that could affect the transactions described above (and ACU's future viability as a going concern) include the failure to complete the ZCI transactions as result of the non-fulfilment of the conditions precedent. All forward-looking information speaks only as of the date hereof and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, ACU disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although ACU believes that its expectations reflected in the forward-looking information, as well as the assumptions inherent therein, are reasonable, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and, accordingly, undue reliance should not be put on such information due to the inherent uncertainty therein.

Contact Information

  • ZCI
    John Kleynhans
    +35 24 025 05 427
    or
    iCapital (Financial Adviser to ZCI)
    Jordan Soko / Ken Muyangwa
    +260 211 256 657
    or
    Canaccord Adams Limited (Financial Adviser to ZCI)
    Robert Finlay / Mike Jones / Andrew Chubb
    +44 207 050 6500
    or
    Bridge Capital Advisors (Pty) Limited (Sponsors to ZCI)
    Pieter Veldtman / Zayd Laher
    +27 (0) 11 268 6231
    or
    College Hill (Public Relations adviser to ZCI)
    Paddy Blewer (UK)
    +44 207 457 2020
    or
    College Hill (Public Relations adviser to ZCI)
    Jacques de Bie (SA)
    +27 (0) 11 447 3030
    or
    African Copper PLC
    Chris Fredericks / Brad Kipp
    +27 (11) 467 2360 / (416) 847 4866
    or
    Numis Securities Limited
    John Harrison (Nominated Advisor) / James Black
    (Corporate Broker)
    +44 (9) 20 7260 1000