African Copper PLC

African Copper PLC

November 15, 2011 02:00 ET

African Copper Plc: Production Update for Mowana and Thakadu

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2011) - African Copper Plc ("African Copper" or "the Company")(AIM:ACU)(BOTSWANA:AFRICAN COPPER), the AIM and Botswana listed copper producer and exploration company, announces a production update for its Mowana and Thakadu Mines for the first and second quarters of the Company's financial year.


  • In terms of copper produced in concentrate, production for the first and second quarters was 176 per cent and 53 per cent higher than the respective quarters from last year (comparative production figures are set out in the table below).

  • Copper produced in concentrate continued to progressively increase during the second quarter with total production of 1,812 tonnes and record production levels achieved in August.

  • Advances in production levels were achieved due to marked improvements in maintenance strategies at the secondary and tertiary crushers, improved production at Thakadu, higher availability of the mill and increasing recoveries as mining moved from more oxidic areas to more supergene rich areas at Mowana and Thakadu.

  • Continuing plant upgrades are in progress and are expected to be completed by the year end.


Combined production levels for the Company's first and second financial year quarters (ending 30 June 2011 and 30 September 2011 respectively) are set out below, together with comparatives:

Description Q1 to Q1 to Q2 to Q2 to 1H* 1H*
end end end end 2011 2010
June June Sept Sept
2011 2010 2011 2010
Ore processed (Mt) 198,429 146,052 194,089 173,312 392,518 319,364
Cu grade (%) 1.74 1.22 1.87 1.24 1.80 1.23
Recovery (%) 48.5 34.1 50.0 55 49.2 45.6
Concentrate produced (Mt) 8,075 2,641 7,637 5,274 15,712 7,915
Copper produced in
concentrate (Mt) 1,674 607 1,812 1,183 3,486 1,790
Payable copper sold (Mt) 1,552 482 1,743 1,113 3,295 1,595
*Fiscal Year first half ended 30 September

In terms of copper produced in concentrate, production for the first and second quarters was 176 per cent and 53 per cent higher than the respective quarters from last year. Copper production continued to increase during the second quarter. Total copper produced in concentrate was 1,812 tonnes, with record production levels achieved in August. The progressive improvements in production are attributable to a number of factors including increased mining flexibility at Mowana and Thakadu, increased ore delivery to the plant as a result of improved production at Thakadu, successful maintenance strategies at the secondary and tertiary crushers, higher availability of the mill and efficiency improvements at the filtration plant. Daily throughput at the filtration plant has increased from 80 tpd to between 160 and 200 tpd due to the following:

  1. Improved feed density as a result of changes made to the thickener underflow pumps;
  2. Increased feed pressure as a result of enhanced feed valves:
  3. Improved solid separation from better filter cloth aperture size control; and
  4. Instalment of new filter press plates.

Increased recoveries are anticipated over the next two quarters as mining operations progressively move at Mowana from more oxidic areas to more supergene rich areas and at Thakadu towards sulphide mineralisation.

A number of plant upgrades are currently in progress and are planned for completion by the year end:

  1. Installation of a new tertiary crusher is currently underway. A new secondary crusher is planned for installation at the end of November. These crushers are expected to increase operational efficiency and increase throughput to the mill.

  2. The installation of column flotation cells is currently underway and is expected to remove impurities, specifically silica during flotation, resulting in a cleaner higher grade concentrate.

  3. Installation of a Larox filter is planned during December to increase filtration efficiency, allowing higher throughput of concentrate with a lower moisture content.

Commenting, Jordan Soko, Acting Chief Executive of African Copper Plc, said, "I am happy to state that we have moved closer to achieving our intended level of steady state copper production. These have been two progressively strong quarters for the Company, which have seen substantially increased production and numerous initiatives put in place to ensure the long term improvement of our mining activities. I look forward to informing the market of further updates in due course."

The technical information in this announcement has been reviewed and approved by David De'Ath, BSc (Hons), MSc, GDE-Mining, MIMM and MAusIMM, the Company's Manager - Geology, of the Mowana Mine for the purposes of the current Guidance Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies issued by the London Stock Exchange in June 2009.

Notes to Editors:

African Copper Plc is an AIM and Botswana listed copper producer and exploration company, currently focused on Botswana. The Company's flagship project is the copper producing open pit Mowana Mine. ACU also owns the rights to the adjacent Thakadu-Makala deposit. Both deposits are situated on the highly prospective Matsitama belt, located close to Botswana's second largest city, Francistown, in the north-eastern part of the country.

This announcement contains forward-looking information. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future including, without limitation, statements regarding progress towards reaching higher commercial production levels, improvement in production efficiencies, timing of plant upgrades, impact of the new tertiary and secondary crushers on operations and throughput to the mill, impact of column flotation cells on impurities and cleaner higher grade concentrates, the realization of increased recoveries over the next two quarters as mining operations progressively move at Mowana from more oxidic areas to more supergene rich areas and at Thakadu towards sulphide mineralisation and the impact of the proposed Larox filter on filtration efficiency, throughput and moisture content are forward-looking information. This forward-looking information reflects the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. Forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company 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 the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, risks related to failure to convert estimated mineral resources to reserves, conclusions of economic evaluations, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, the possibility that actual circumstances will differ from the estimates and assumptions used in the current mining plans, future prices of copper, unexpected increases in capital or operating costs, possible variations in mineral resources, possible delays or ability to contract the necessary transportation arrangements between Thakadu and Mowana, grade or recovery rates, failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, delays in obtaining governmental consents, permits, licences and registrations, political risks arising from operating in Africa, changes in regulation s affecting the Company.

All forward-looking information speaks only as of the date hereof and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company 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 the Company 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

  • African Copper Plc
    Brad Kipp
    Chief Financial Officer
    +1 (416) 847 4866

    Tavistock Communications (PR and IR)
    Simon Hudson
    +44 (0) 20 7920 3150

    Canaccord Genuity (NOMAD and Broker)
    Andrew Chubb/Tarica Mpinga
    +44 (0) 20 7050 6500