PERTH, Western Australia, March 31 /CNW/ - (ASX and TSX: TGS): Emerging Perth based copper producer Tiger Resources Limited ("Tiger" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the achievement of the following significant milestones as Tiger moves towards bringing the Stage 1 copper mining operation at Kipoi into production:
- Granting of mining permit for development of Kipoi Central deposit by
Minister of Mines.
- Approval of environmental impact statement and environmental
- Approval of Stage 1 development plan by Gecamines.
- Financing arrangements for Stage 1 development on track and initial
drawdown targeted for May 2010.
Granting of Mining Permit and Approval of Environmental Report and Plan
The Minister of Mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has approved the granting of a 30 year exploitation/mining permit allowing the development of the Kipoi Central deposit. The approval grants SEK sprl, the company holding the title to the Kipoi Project, the right to mine copper and cobalt and also, among other things, to construct the facilities and infrastructure required to exploit mines and market commercial products in accordance with the relevant legislation.
Associated with the granting of the mining permit is approval by the Department Responsible for the Protection of Mining Environment (DPEM) (a department of the DRC Ministry of Mines) of the Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Management Plan (EIS/EMPP) for the Stage 1 development project at Kipoi Central ("the Project"). The EIS/EMPP fulfils the key environmental permitting requirements.
The Project now has the key mining licence and environmental approval to mine copper ore, and to produce and sell copper concentrate. This is a milestone achievement for the Company.
Support of Gecamines of Stage 1 Development Plans
The Company is also pleased to announce that Gecamines, the State owed mining company and partner in the Kipoi Project, has approved the Stage 1 development revised definitive feasibility study (RFDS) and given its support to development of the project.
The support of the DRC Government and Gecamines, as key stakeholders in the Kipoi Project, represents a further major advance towards bringing the Project into production.
The shareholders meeting to consider the project financing package to be provided by Trafigura Beheer B.V. (see announcement dated 13 November 2009) will be held on 21 April 2010.
As previously advised, Nedbank Limited ("Nedbank") is acting as exclusive arranger of an Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa Limited ("ECIC") supported US$16 million debt facility. Nedbank is currently finalising its due diligence review, which comprises reviews of various aspects of the planned development by Nedbank and by independent consulting groups, including detailed technical, legal, insurance and financial modelling analysis. The ECIC is also finalising its review and approvals processes.
Snowden Mining Industry Consultants ("Snowden") has recently completed an Independent Technical Review of the Project. The review was commissioned by Nedbank Limited and forms a part of their due diligence process.
Snowden concluded that the technical parameters of the Project are robust for mine development and construction of a heavy media separation (HMS) plant, and Snowden did not identify any significant issues which may prevent the Project continuing.
Nedbank have advised that the next board meeting of the ECIC (being the first such meeting in 2010) is scheduled to be held on 15 April 2010.
Tiger is targeting being in a position to commence drawing down funds from the proposed Nedbank senior and Trafigura subordinated debt facilities in May 2010.
Negotiations with mining contractors are at an advanced stage and key development personnel to supplement the Company's DRC team have been recruited.
Subject to confirmation of the availability of the Trafigura and Nedbank funding the intention remains to start development and construction from June with first copper production expected towards the end of the year.
Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements: The forward-looking statements made in this report are based on assumptions and judgments of management regarding future events and results. Such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those with respect to the development of a Stage 1 mining operation at the Kipoi Project, completion of an equity and debt funding package with Trafigura Beheer B.V. and obtaining shareholder approval of such package, and obtaining a project debt facility with Nedbank Limited, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any anticipated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the actual market prices of copper, cobalt and silver, the actual results of current exploration, the actual results of future mining, processing and development activities, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be evaluated, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's filed documents. There can be no assurance that the Kipoi Project will be successfully developed, that the conditions precedent to the equity and debt funding package with Trafigura Beheer B.V., including obtaining shareholder and any required regulatory approvals, will be satisfied, that an agreement will be reached with Nedbank Limited for a project debt facility, that any mineralisation previously disclosed in respect of the Kipoi Project will be proven to be economic, that anticipated metallurgical recoveries will be achieved, that future evaluation work will confirm the viability of deposits identified within the project or that future required regulatory approvals will be obtained.
SOURCE Tiger Resources Limited
For further information: For further information: in respect of the Company's activities, please contact: David Young, Joint Managing Director, Tel: (+61 8) 9240 1933, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Brad Marwood, Joint Managing Director, Tel: (+61 8) 9240 1933, Email: email@example.com; Reg Gillard, Chairman, Tel: (+61 8) 9240 1933, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Company website: www.tigerresources.com.au