Wednesday, October 21, 2020

African Copper gears itself up for production

African Copper, the BotswanaÔÇôLondon’s AIM listed budding copper miner, said its plant machines are back to operational status as it aims to roll-out details of the full scale production for Mowana mine ÔÇô in Botswana — that have been on the makings for the past three months.

Top management of the company is expected to fly into the country early in the week in what is largely viewed as the last dress rehearsal before the big announcement scheduled for end of the month.

African Copper, a company that was be-devilled by cash problems that forced it to suspend mining operations for the first five months, got some cash injection from Zambia Copper Investments (ZCI) – marking the largest investment into Botswana by a Zambian entity. The move followed a fiercely contested bid between ZCI and Natasa mine of Australia.

This week it emerged that details relating to the full productionÔÇöthat are likely to inject the much needed confidence in the share price of the company — are expected to be released to the market by end of the month.

This will be preceded by a week-long top management site visit headed by Chris Frederick, African Copper Chief Executive Officer, aimed at tightening the screws on plans that will pave-theÔÇôway towards commissioning and getting all other relevant information about the possible production capacity of the mine being “re-established before released to the market”.

The team is working on a tight schedule of releasing the information to the market by month end.

“The operational key indicators derived from the start up have been encouraging. The feed grade that has been delivered from the pit from fresh ore exposure has been consistent at plus and minus 20 percent above the forecast grade of 1.2 percent copper,” the company said.

Further, the company has indicated that mining has already started and they are doing ‘pit preparation to meet the production forecast”.

In June, African Copper told the Sunday Standard that it was “planning to start mining operations in the next three months” after it got an injection of US $10 million from its ZCI as part of a move to help the country’s budding copper miner to get off its feet. Further, African Copper sold 6,766,705 shares worth about US $ 9.9 million in a cash raising exercise that gave ZCI an interest in the organization of 82 percent stake.

The money was in addition to the extra US $ 25.4 million which it injected from the US $22 million loan facility.
“We are currently working on a new mining plan and the plan is to re-start operations within three months,” Federicks has said.

The company also de-listed from the Toronto Stock ExchangeÔÇöas part of its restructuring plan — saying that the London market would be able to serve the rest of Europe and northern America.

African Copper, which first became public in 2004 is now only listed on a London AIM and Botswana Stock Exchange and is operating Mowana Mine which is about 100 kilometers west of Botswana’s second largest city, Francistown.

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