VANCOUVER, Aug. 19 /CNW/ - Anooraq Resources Corporation ("Anooraq" or
the "Company") (TSXV: ARQ; AMEX: ANO; JSE: ARQ) announces its financial
results for the six months ended June 30, 2009.
During the quarter, the Company announced that all outstanding conditions
relating to the acquisition by Anooraq of, among others, a 51% interest in
Lebowa Platinum Mine ("Lebowa") from Anglo Platinum Limited ("Anglo Platinum")
had been met. As a result, with effect from July 1, 2009, the Company acquired
an effective 51% of Lebowa and a further 1% controlling interest in the
Boikgantsho, Ga-Phasha and Kwanda Projects for a purchase consideration of ZAR
2.6 billion ($390.1 million).
The Company has, accordingly, also completed a number of agreements to
finance the acquisition through a combination of a debt facility provided by
Standard Chartered Bank and a vendor finance facility provided by Anglo
Platinum. In addition, Anglo Platinum, through Rustenburg Platinum Mines
Limited ("RPM"), has provided Anooraq with an operating cash shortfall
facility of up to a maximum of ZAR 750 million ($112.8 million) and access to
approximately 59.2% of RPM's attributable share of Lebowa's free cash flows in
order for Anooraq to meet its obligations in terms of the debt facility.
Results of operations
The Company incurred a loss of $7,294,165 for the six months ended June
30, 2009 compared with a loss of $9,174,118 for the six months ended June 30,
2008. The loss for the six months to June 30 2009 decreased primarily as a
result of a lower share based compensation charge of $1,875,536, as compared
with $5,232,693 in the six months of the previous year due to fewer share
options having been issued and the impact of the share option re-pricing
approved at the shareholders meeting held on June 15, 2009.
The remaining material differences between the results for the six months
ended June 30, 2009 and those for the six months ended June 30, 2008 include:
Accounting, legal and audit charges - which increased to $372,575 for the
period ended June 30, 2009 in comparison with $114,546 for the previous
comparable six months mainly due to additional review costs incurred resulting
from changing the basis of preparation to International Financial Reporting
Standards ("IFRS") from Canadian generally accepted accounting principles
Exploration expenditure - which decreased in the six months ended June
30, 2009 to $28,542 as compared with $110,350 for the six months ended June
30, 2008. The expenditure in the current year is primarily due to payments
related to preserving the prospecting rights and meeting joint venture costs
on the Ga-Phasha Project, as no significant costs were incurred on platinum
group metals ("PGM") exploration activities.
Salaries and benefits - which amounted to $2,598,947 in the six months
ended June 30, 2009 in comparison with $1,705,087 for the same period in the
six months of the previous fiscal year. Salaries and benefits for the six
months ended June 30, 2009 include compensation with respect to payment of a
success-related bonus of $506,425 to a number of executives associated with
the completion of the Lebowa Transaction.
Interest expense - which was $1,191,312 for the six months ended June 30,
2009 in comparison with $906,493 incurred for the same period of fiscal 2008.
The charge increased due to the increase in the loan advance from RPM offset
by the decreased prime overdraft rate in the period.
At June 30, 2009, the Company had a working capital deficit of
$30,698,920 compared to a working capital surplus of $587,726 as at December
31, 2008, inclusive of the current portion of the RPM loan. Working capital,
excluding the current portion of the RPM loan, was $1,332,308 compared to
$2,323,389 at December 31, 2008. As at June 30, 2009, the Company had cash and
cash equivalents of $451,601.
The Company reached agreement with Anglo Platinum on November 23, 2008,
whereby Anglo Platinum agreed to provide an additional ZAR 30 million ($4.5
million) to the Company by increasing the existing loan to Plateau, from ZAR
70 million to ZAR 100 million ($10.5 million to $15 million) and agreed to
defer interest payments owing in terms of the existing loan to the final
closing of the Lebowa Transaction. The loan and accrued interest amounting to
$18,357,689 (ZAR 122,078,634) was repaid on July 1, 2009.
In addition to its 51% interest in Lebowa, Anooraq has interests in early
to advanced stage exploration properties on the Northern and Eastern Limbs of
the Bushveld Complex in South Africa.
For the past two years, Anooraq's exploration work has mainly been
focused on advancing the Ga-Phasha Project, which is located in the Eastern
Bushveld and in which, with effect from July 1, 2009, Anooraq has held a 51%
interest. Work continues on the pre-feasibility study for this project based
on the UG2 mineral resources. Anooraq also intends to resume work on the
pre-feasibility study for the 51%-held Boikgantsho Project, which involves a
portion of Anooraq's Platreef properties in the Northern Bushveld.
Anooraq's objective is to become a significant "mine to market" PGM
company with a substantial and diversified PGM asset base including
production, development and exploration assets. The Lebowa acquisition is the
first stage of advancing the Company's PGM production strategy and has
resulted in the Company controlling refined production of 147,600 ounces of
platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (based on 2008 production at Lebowa from
1.1 million tonnes of ore milled) and a significant mineral resource base -
the third largest PGM mineral resource base in South Africa. Management will
therefore be investing significant time, energy and resources in focusing on
improving operating efficiencies at Lebowa during the forthcoming quarters.
Basis of preparation
The consolidated interim financial statements for the six months ended
June 30, 2009 have been prepared in accordance with International Accounting
Standard 34, Interim Financial Reporting, using accounting policies consistent
with IFRS and as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board
("IASB") and interpretations of International Financial Reporting
Effective January 1, 2009 the Company early adopted IFRS following the
exemption received from the applicable Canadian Securities Administrators
under National Instrument 52-107, Acceptable Accounting Principles, Auditing
Standards and Reporting Currency ("NI 52-107") on March 2, 2009.
These are the Company's second IFRS consolidated interim financial
statements for part of the period covered by the first IFRS consolidated
annual financial statements to be presented in accordance with IFRS for the
year ending December 31, 2009. Previously, the Company prepared its
consolidated annual and consolidated interim financial statements in
accordance with Canadian GAAP.
The interim consolidated financial statements should be read in
conjunction with the Company's 2008 annual financial statements. A full copy
of Anooraq's consolidated interim financial statements as at June 30, 2009
were made available on www.sedar.com from August 14, 2009.
Changes to the board and in the roles of certain directors
At the annual general meeting held on June 15, 2009, the following
directors did not stand for re-election and their appointments to the board
were therefore terminated: Mr. Scott Cousens, Mr. Robert Dickinson, Mr. David
Elliott and Dr. Popo Molefe. Ms. Fikile de Buck was appointed as the
Chairperson of the Audit Committee with effect from July 1, 2009 to replace
Mr. David Elliott. At the board meeting held on August 11, 2009, the role of
Mr. Tumelo Motsisi was changed with immediate effect from that of Deputy
Chairman to Executive Chairman.
For and on behalf of the Board
Philip Kotze Iemrahn Hassen
President and Chief Executive Officer Chief Financial Officer
The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy
or accuracy of this release.
The American Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the
contents of this press release.
Cautionary and Forward Looking Information
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward
looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of
historical facts, that address potential acquisitions, future production,
reserve potential, exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or
developments that Anooraq expects are forward looking statements. Anooraq
believes that such forward looking statements are based on reasonable
assumptions, including assumptions that: the Lebowa Transaction will complete;
Lebowa will continue to achieve production levels similar to previous years;
the planned Lebowa expansions will be completed and successful; Anooraq will
be able to secure future debt and equity financing on favourable terms; and
the Ga-Phasha and Platreef Project exploration results will continue to be
positive. Forward looking statements however, are not guarantees of future
performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from
those in forward looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results
to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include market
prices, exploitation and exploration successes, changes in and the effect of
government policies with respect to mining and natural resource exploration
and exploitation and continued availability of capital and financing, and
general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that
any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and those actual
results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the
forward looking statements. For further information on Anooraq, investors
should review the Company's annual information form filed on www.sedar.com or
its form 20-F with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and
its other home jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
For further information:
For further information: please visit our website
www.anooraqresources.com or call investor services in South Africa at +27 11
883 0831 or in North America at 1-800-667-2114