|September 9, 2009 |
|African Copper plc: Operational Update |
|LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 9, 2009) - African Copper plc ("African Copper" or "The Company") (AIM:ACU)(BOTSWANA:AFRICAN COPPER) is pleased to announce that its subsidiary, Messina Copper (Botswana) (Proprietary) Limited ("Messina") has recommenced operations at the Company's Mowana Mine in Botswana.|
- Mining commenced and pit prepared to meet the production forecast.
- Pit feed grades delivered to the plant +/-20% above forecast.
- All processing plant circuits brought back to operational status.
- Feed stockpiles being regenerated with fresh ROM ore to support sustainable plant operating campaigns.
- Combined concentrate grade +/-12% above forecast for the period.
- Optimization of processing circuit being coordinated with metallurgical expertise from ZCI.
As an update to the presentation given at the AGM on the 30th July 2009 and the announcement of 14th August 2009, ACU is delighted to announce that the anticipated operational start up has now been successfully achieved. The operational team on site have mobilized a new mining contractor and re-commissioned the concentrator with the assistance of an experienced team of specialist metallurgical and engineering personnel from ZCI.
The teething problems encountered during the re-start of the plant, coming out of a period of extended care-and-maintenance, were quickly identified and remedied during the period. Management now believe that the operation is well positioned to advance to steady state nameplate production through the coming quarters.
The operational key indicators derived from start up have been encouraging. The feed grade delivered from the pit from fresh ore exposure has been consistently +/-20% above the forecast feed grade of 1.2% Cu. Similarly, the early average concentrate grade produced is 26% Cu which is +/-12% above forecast. Circuit and concentrate specification will be further optimised over the coming weeks. While this news is to be welcomed, it remains too early to identify any clear trend in grades.
Chris Fredericks, Chief Executive of Africa Copper, commented:
"African Copper is delighted that operations are once again underway at the Mowana Mine. This has been achieved by the vision, tenacity and support of the major shareholder, ZCI, and the continued commitment of the operational team at the mine. African Copper now finds itself well placed to take advantage of a fundamentally improved metals market environment.
The operational team is fully focussed and committed to meeting production objectives and to deliver the optimal mining strategy. The results achieved over this short-period of time are encouraging and continue to support the ultimate goal of realising the full potential of the Company's extensive mineral assets."
This press release 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 feed grade improvement, concentrate grade improvement, and ability to meet production forecast) 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, changes in commodity prices and world copper markets and equity and/or debt markets, political developments and risks in Botswana, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, inflation, changes to regulations affecting the Company's activities, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, uncertainty regarding failure to convert estimated mineral resources to reserves, the possibility that actual circumstances will differ from the estimates and assumptions used in the mining plan for the Mowana Mine (there is no certainty that the production schedule, recoveries and/or operating costs proposed will be achieved), the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates (including the increases referred to in this press release), the capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in meeting the production forecast and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry disclosed in the Company's most recent annual information form filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. 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.