Katanga Mining Limited
TSX : KAT

Katanga Mining Limited

May 14, 2008 07:00 ET

Katanga Project Update and 1Q 2008 Financials

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 14, 2008) - Katanga Mining Limited (TSX:KAT) ("Katanga" or the "Company") today gives a project update and announces its financial results for the quarter ending March 31, 2008.

Highlights

- Copper cathode production during the quarter of 3,946 tonnes; cobalt metal production started on May 3.

- US$90.2 million revenues from the sale of 19,742 tonnes concentrate from the Kolwezi Concentrator

- Net loss for the quarter of US$17.4 million (US$0.10 per share), compared with a net loss for the first quarter of 2007 of US$5.4 million (US$0.07 per share).

- Positive operating cash flow of US$10.9m for the quarter.

- US$463.4 million cash on balance sheet at March 31, 2008.

- Management team strengthened.

- Merger with Nikanor declared unconditional on January 11 and integration now completed.

Outlook

- Forecast payable production for the year is 33,500 tonnes of copper and 2,900 tonnes of cobalt.

- KCC operating costs after cobalt credit are forecast to be $0.42/lb for 2008 based on $30/lb cobalt.

- Feasibility study for the expansion project due to be completed by end of third quarter.

Arthur Ditto, President and CEO of Katanga, stated: "Copper cathode production increased each month during the first quarter and in April, and we were pleased to see cobalt metal production at the start of May. On site performance is improving with mine output steadily increasing and Luilu production growing. As a consequence, we expect to be profitable this year. We are working hard to complete the feasibility study for the expansion project by the end of the third quarter, alongside preparation for mining of the KOV pit and commencing civil work for the new SX/EW plant."

Operational review

Copper cathode production increased each month during the first quarter as well as in April and forecast production is 30,500 tonnes for the year. Cobalt metal production is now under way and forecast production is 1,600 tonnes for the year. Concentrate production of 43,500 tonnes for the year is expected to add 3,000 tonnes of payable copper and 1,300 tonnes of payable cobalt.

Although below plan, performance at the Kamoto Underground Mine continued on a positive trend, with production and development both increasing, and ore development ahead of forecast in April. At the Musonoie-T17 and Tilwezembe open pits, mining is consistently exceeding plan. High grade cobalt ore from Musonoie-T17 has been stockpiled and will be processed at the Kamoto Concentrator as cobalt treatment capacity at Luilu increases.

The Kolwezi Concentrator was shut down during the first quarter for extensive maintenance and resumed operation on April 9. Expected concentrate production output for the balance of the year is at least 4,500 tonnes per month, giving a total 43,500 tonnes output for the year. Concentrate inventory of 9,990 tonnes at the end of the first quarter is expected to be sold in the second quarter.

Project update

Phase II of the Kamoto rehabilitation is expected to be completed by the end of 2008 for a capital cost of US$136 million. A second sulphide cascade mill is being rehabilitated and 58 floatation cells are being added to the circuit in the Kamoto Concentrator. At the Luilu Metallurgical Plant, a new roaster is being constructed, and leaching capacity and copper and cobalt electrowinning capacity will be doubled. Capacity will be increased to about 100,000 tonnes of copper cathode per year.

The feasibility study for the expansion project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the third quarter. Waste stripping at the KOV pit will begin in the third quarter. The surrounding dewatering-well field is progressing on track and dewatering of the KOV pit itself is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2008. Procurement and construction related contracts have been awarded and site preparation for Module 1 of the new SX/EW plant is under way with construction expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

Management changes

Patrick Hickey joined as Senior Vice President, Operations and Managing Director, Kamoto Operating Limited, in charge of operations in the DRC. He has over 25 years of experience in the extractive industries, most recently spending 12 years with Newmont Mining Corporation in a variety of senior operations and construction management roles.

Kim Freeman joined as Senior Vice President, Project Development. He has over 30 years of operations and project development expertise in the mining industry, joining Katanga from Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation in the Philippines, where he oversaw the restart of a major copper mine.

Conference call and webcast

Katanga will hold a conference call and webcast at 8.30am Eastern Time (Toronto) / 1.30pm BST (London) on May 14, 2008 to provide a project update and discuss its first quarter financials.

The call will be hosted by Arthur Ditto, President and Chief Executive Officer, who will be joined by Stephen Jones, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Senior site personnel will be available for questions.

Details of how to access the call and webcast are below. A news release, slide presentation, financial statements and management discussion and analysis will be available on Katanga's website, www.katangamining.com, prior to the call.

Katanga's Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis for the quarter are filed on SEDAR, www.sedar.com.



Conference call and webcast details
Date: May 14, 2008
Time: 8.30am Eastern Time (Toronto) / 1.30pm BST (London)
Dial in: 1866 850 2201 (Canada Free Call)
0800 279 9640 (UK Free Call)
+44 (0)20 7138 0829 (Standard International)
ID: 6646370 (please quote this code when dialing in)
Webcast: An audio webcast with slide presentation, together with the
financial statements and management discussion and analysis, will
be available at the following link:
http://services.choruscall.eu/links/katanga080514.html


Replay details:

The call will be available for replay until midnight on May 20 at the following numbers: 1866 883 4489 (Canada Free Call), 0800 559 3271 (UK Free Call), +44 (0)20 7806 1970 (Standard International) using ID Code 6646370. The webcast will be archived at the same location as above for six months.

To learn more about Katanga Mining Limited, please visit our website at www.katangamining.com.

Katanga Mining Limited operates a major mine complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo producing refined copper and cobalt. The company has the potential to become Africa's largest copper producer and the world's largest cobalt producer, with a targeted annual output of over 300,000 tonnes of refined copper and over 30,000 tonnes of refined cobalt by 2011. Katanga is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol KAT.

Contact Information

  • Katanga Mining Limited
    Arthur H. Ditto
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    +44 (0)20 7440 5800
    or
    Katanga Mining Limited
    Steve Jones
    Chief Financial Officer
    +44 (0)20 7440 5800
    or
    Katanga Mining Limited
    Anu Dhir
    Vice President, Corporate Development
    +44 (0)20 7440 5800
    Website: www.katangamining.com
    or
    Media:
    Citigate Dewe Rogerson (UK)
    Kate Delahunty/George Cazenove
    +44 (0)20 7638 9571
    or
    Fleishman-Hillard (North America)
    Caroline Spivak
    (416) 645-8185