TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 10, 2013) - Dundee Precious Metals Inc. (TSX:DPM)(TSX:DPM.WT.A) (the "Company" or "DPM") provides an update on the installation of the sulphuric acid plant at its Tsumeb smelter in Namibia.
As part of its long term strategy to bring the Tsumeb smelter to internationally accepted environmental standards and consistent with directives issued by the Namibian Government, DPM entered into a lump sum turnkey ("LSTK") contract with Outotec for the engineering, supply, construction and commissioning of a facility to treat smelter off-gas and produce sulphuric acid. The project is progressing well with engineering 60% complete, all long lead items purchased and the earthworks component of construction complete. At this stage, the total capital cost to complete the acid plant currently under construction, including owner's costs, is estimated at US$240 million, up from the initial estimate of US$204 million.
This increase is primarily attributable to higher than expected costs associated with site preparation including demolition, earthworks excavation, foundation preparation, larger construction camp infrastructure and related operating costs, unanticipated expenses relating to the removal of asbestos encountered during demolition, and a stronger Euro. None of these issues have put the project schedule at risk and it remains on track for commercial operations and acid deliveries to commence in the fourth quarter of 2014, as agreed with the Namibian Government.
"The installation of the acid plant is expected to complete our major environmental upgrades at the smelter and our obligations to the government, thereby minimizing the environmental and political risks to the smelter," said Rick Howes, President and CEO. "In addition, the key aspects of the plant upgrades which address smelter fugitive emissions are complete and the second oxygen plant, which allows for increased, cleaner production, is expected to be producing oxygen by the end of October. We expect that the government will then be in a position to confirm compliance with its directive and workplace air quality standards and support a return to full production."
Dundee Precious Metals Inc. is a Canadian based, international gold mining company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of precious metals. The Company's principal operating assets include the Chelopech operation, which produces a copper concentrate containing gold and silver, located east of Sofia, Bulgaria; the Kapan operation, which produces a copper concentrate and a zinc concentrate, both containing gold and silver, located in southern Armenia; and the Tsumeb smelter, a concentrate processing facility located in Namibia. DPM also holds interests in a number of developing gold properties located in Bulgaria, Serbia, and northern Canada, including interests held through its 53.1% owned subsidiary, Avala Resources Ltd., its 45.5% interest in Dunav Resources Ltd. and its 12.1% interest in Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release contains "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "guidance", "outlook", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management and certain professionals as of the date such statements are made, and on certain assumptions. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release and other disclosure documents issued from time to time are typically, but not always, limited to statements with respect to future production, operating costs, financial liquidity and capital funding, growth opportunities, capital expenditures, cost and timing to develop new deposits, conduct exploration activities and receive permits, the price of gold, copper, zinc and silver, the estimation and realization of mineral reserves and resources, foreign currency exchange rates, government regulation, environmental risks, reclamation costs, and the timing and possible outcome of pending litigation.
By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by any forward-looking statement. This includes, among other things: availability of future growth opportunities; actual results of current exploration activities; actual results of current reclamation activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; actual price of gold, copper, zinc and silver; actual foreign exchange rates; plant, equipment or processes operating as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks inherent to the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, as well as those risk factors discussed or referred to herein and contained in other documents filed from time to time with the securities regulatory authorities in all provinces and territories of Canada and available at www.sedar.com. Key assumptions underlying the revised capital costs for the sulphuric acid plant project contained in this news release, which may prove to be incorrect, include, but are not limited to: no changes being made to the scope of the project, no changes to foreign exchange rates and no additional unforeseen costs being incurred. These assumptions are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including changes to the scope of the project, changes to foreign exchange rates and additional unforeseen costs. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statement, there may be other factors. There can be no assurance that any forward-looking statement will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Unless required by securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.