African Copper PLC
AIM : ACU

African Copper PLC

October 15, 2012 02:00 ET

African Copper Plc Production Update: Record Production of 2,882 Mt of Copper in Concentrate for the Second Quarter of Fiscal 2013

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2012) - African Copper Plc (AIM:ACU)(BOTSWANA:AFRICAN COPPER) ("African Copper" or the "Company"), announces record production figures for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 from its 100% owned operating mines in Botswana.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2013, the Company produced 2,882 Mt of copper in concentrate. Production in September 2012 was the third month in a row where copper produced in concentrate equalled or exceeded 950 Mt.

Second Quarter Production Highlights

  • Ore processed of 250,005 Mt; 29% increase over prior year's Q2
  • Copper recovery of 63.4%; 27% increase over prior year's Q2
  • Copper produced in concentrate of 2,882 Mt; 59% increase over prior year's Q2
  • During August 2012 the mill achieved and exceeded for the first time its nameplate capacity of 150Mtph

Mr. Jordan Soko, Acting Chief Executive of African Copper, said, "The Company is on track to achieve record copper production in fiscal 2013. Our operations teams continue to successfully execute our mine plans and have done a great job to increase throughput, efficiencies and plant utilisation. The focus now is to exceed these levels as we move into increasing proportions of sulphide ore at Thakadu and to prove up additional resources from our strong portfolio of appraisal and exploration prospects."

All of the ore processed at the Mowana facilities during the first half, from April to end September 2012, was sourced from the higher grade Thakadu Mine and mining operations have continued to benefit from the increasing proportion of sulphide ore. In the three months reported below, the proportion of sulphide ore processed increased from 49% of the total in July, to 80% in August and 68% in September. Trucking operations from Thakadu to the Mowana Mine processing facilities, a distance of 70km, ran to plan during the first two quarters.

Production levels for the half year to 30 September 2012 are set out below:

Description July
2012
August 2012 September 2012 Total Q2 2012 Total Q1 2012
Ore processed (Mt) 89,727 81,294 78,984 250,005 171,908
Cu grade (%) 1.91 1.72 1.82 1.82 1.91
Recovery (%) 55.7 69.8 66.3 63.4 49
Concentrate produced (Mt) 4,319 4,841 4,650 13,810 6,888
Copper produced in concentrate (Mt) 955 976 950 2,882 1,609*
* Production during the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was adversely affected by the failure of the mill pinion shaft which caused production to be shut down for 15 days.

Totals for the first six months and comparison with prior periods are as follows:

Description 1H 2012/13 1H 2011/12 FY 2011/12
Ore processed (Mt) 421,913 392,518 738,921
Cu grade (%) 1.86 1.80 1.93
Recovery (%) 57.3 49.2 48.4
Concentrate produced (Mt) 20,698 15,712 31,027
Copper produced in concentrate (Mt) 4,490* 3,487 6,910
* Production during the first quarter of fiscal 2013 was adversely affected by the failure of the mill pinion shaft which caused production to be shut down for 15 days.

The introduction of an increasing proportion of sulphide ore has brought flotation stability and improved recovery, as evidenced by the August 2012 flotation recovery of 69.8%, and has also resulted in the reduction of costs due to curtailed usage of the reagent AM2 (Secondary collector) and NAHS (Sulphudiser) used to treat oxide ores. Plant efficiency has benefitted from the Larox filter plant installed this year which has significantly increased filtration capacity and reduced moisture content. In the month of August, the mill achieved and exceeded for the first time its nameplate capacity of 150 Mtph. As a result, the record milled tonnes stands at 3,687 Mtpd in 23.5hrs representing 156.9 Mtph.

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.

For further information please visit www.africancopper.com.

Notes to Editors:

African Copper 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 historicalact, 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 sustained commercial production levels, positive indications at Thakadu of sulphide ore availability, the stage of development and resulting improvements to efficiency relating to planned upgrades 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 Thakadu mining plan, 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 and political risks arising from operating in Africa and changes in regulations 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
    bradk@africancopper.com

    Canaccord Genuity Limited (NOMAD and Broker)
    Andrew Chubb/Tarica Mpinga
    +44 (0) 20 7523 8000

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