Katanga Mining announces 2015 second quarter results

BAAR, Switzerland, Aug. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - Katanga Mining Limited (TSX: KAT) ("Katanga" or the "Company") today announces its financial results for the second quarter of 2015. Katanga's Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis will be filed on SEDAR, www.sedar.com.   

Highlights during the three and six months ended June 30, 2015, and Outlook






Three months ended

Six months ended



June 30,

March 31,

June 30,

June 30,

June 30,



2015

2015

2014

2015

2014

Financial







Realized copper price

$/lb



3.14


3.06

Realized cobalt price

$/lb



11.84


11.86

Total sales

$'000



305,208


515,056

 - including repricing

$'000

(9,520)

(15,937)

13,700

(25,457)

527

EBITDA*

$'000

(32,519)

(41,878)

41,223

(74,397)

51,016








Net (loss) income attributable to shareholders

$'000

(84,069)

(28,431)

41,458

(112,500)

77,867

C1 cash costs*

$/lb



2.04


2.35

Cash flows from operating activities

$'000

(23,083)

(268,833)

44,685

(291,916)

105,286

Mining







Waste mined

tonnes

9,817,347

6,391,114

9,279,543

16,208,461

15,415,546

Ore mined

tonnes

2,201,354

1,848,269

2,014,017

4,049,623

3,344,908

Average copper grade

%

3.74

3.57

3.84

3.66

3.92

Contained copper in ore mined

tonnes

82,311

65,907

77,345

148,218

130,981

Processing







Ore milled

tonnes

2,034,949

1,959,724

1,527,708

3,994,673

3,041,924

Finished copper metal and concentrate

tonnes

40,096

37,133

41,026

77,229

72,600

Finished cobalt

tonnes

943

852

523

1,795

1,001

* Refer to Non-IFRS measures in Katanga's Q2 2015 Management's Discussion and Analysis.




Review of 2015 Second Quarter Results

Financial

  • Profitability during Q2 2015, when compared to Q1 2015 and Q2 2014, was affected by:
    • Movements in the copper and cobalt market price, resulting in a positive sales price variance of $5.0 million when compared to Q1 2015 and a negative sales price variance of $53.7 million when compared to Q2 2014;
    • A $35.3 million write-down of inventory to net realizable value driven by the copper price decline ($10.3 million higher than Q1 2015 and $34.5 million higher than Q2 2014);
    • Costs being higher due to increased processing costs at KTC and Luilu which was driven by higher consumption of reagents and increased depreciation as a result of the enlarged asset base;
    • The cessation of borrowing cost capitalisation during Q1 2015 due to the completion of the Phase 5 Expansion Project, resulting in Amended Loan Facility interest expense of $74.6 million for Q2 2015 (Q1 2015 - $24.4 million; Q2 2015 – nil); and
    • Income tax recoveries of $53.9 million in Q2 2015 (Q1 2015 - $57.4 million; Q2 2014 - $47.6 million) due to deferred tax recognized on tax losses carried forward in the DRC.
  • Cash flows from operating activities decreased in Q2 2015, when compared to Q2 2014, due to the decline in profitability, partly offset by decreased working capital requirements, notably prepayments for mining fleet and capital expenditure. Cash outflows from operating activities improved in Q2 2015, when compared to Q1 2015, due to decreased working capital requirements, notably prepayments for mining fleet, capital expenditure and royalties. These cash outflows were funded by customer prepayments from Glencore plc ("Glencore").

Mining

  • During Q2 2015 the Company increased ore production by 9%, when compared to Q2 2014; this is principally due to a record level of ore production at KOV Open Pit (an increase of 11% on Q2 2014) where new mining fleet was commissioned in the intervening year. KTO also contributed with a record level of ore production (a 4% increase compared to Q2 2014) due to higher stope availability resulting from increased backfilling and development. Waste tonnes mined were 6% higher than Q2 2014.
  • Q2 2015 total ore tonnes mined were 19% higher than Q1 2015. Q1 2015 had lower volumes due to dewatering issues at KOV during the DRC rainy season. Higher average copper mined grade was achieved in Q2 as higher grade material at the pit bottom became more accessible.
  • In Q2 2015, the Company commissioned:
    • Five new Caterpillar 793D haul trucks operating in KOV to increase ore and waste mining capacity (increasing the fleet size to 19); and
    • One Caterpillar AD45B haul truck operating in KTO to facilitate increased ore and waste mining capacity (increasing the fleet size to 17).

Processing

  • Ore milled at KTC during Q2 2015 reached a record level driven by the increased volumes milled at CM5 (commissioned as part of the Phase 5 Expansion Project). CM5 is currently milling at 99% of design capacity.
  • Finished copper metal and concentrate produced decreased by 2% over Q2 2014 driven by the lower mined grades and lower grade of concentrate feed to Luilu. Finished copper metal and concentrate produced was an 8% increase over Q1 2015 driven by the increased contained copper in ore mined and increased volumes of ore milled.
  • Cobalt metal produced totalled a record 943 tonnes for Q2 2015, an 80% increase from Q2 2014 and an 11% increase from Q1 2015, due to the increased grades and volume fed together with improved recoveries thereon.
  • During Q2, June 2015, the Company commenced with the Whole Ore Leach Project:
    • Committed capital expenditure amounts to $10.5 million for site excavation and civil work.
    • Concurrent with the construction of the Whole Ore Leach Plant and infrastructure, the current Life of Mine Plan is being optimized to ensure that the appropriate ore blend will be supplied to the Whole Ore Leach Process in order to maximize copper and cobalt recovery and to minimize operating cost per unit.
  • In Q2 2015, the Company commissioned the following assets at KTC and Luilu in order to improve throughputs and recoveries:
    • Improvements to the froth skimmers in the KTC oxide flotation section which improved mass-pull in the Wemco cells;
    • Upgrade of cleaner bank cells in the oxide flotation section to improve oxide concentrate grades;
    • Upgrade of 20m3 tank cells in the old re-cleaner circuit with additional pre-floatation cells to increase pre-float capacity;
    • Installation of a second concentrate transfer line to increase concentrate transfer to Luilu; and
    • A new pumping station at the Mupine tailings facility to increase water capacity to both KTC and Luilu.

Review of 2015 First Half Year Results

Financial

  • Profitability during H1 2015, when compared to H1 2014, was adversely affected by:
    • The decline in the copper and cobalt market price, resulting in a sales price variance of $94.2 million when compared to H1 2014;
    • A $60.2 million write-down of inventory to net realizable value driven by the copper price decline (H1 2014 - $0.8 million);
    • Costs being higher due to increased mining expenditure, increased processing costs at KTC and Luilu as a result of higher reagent consumption, and increased depreciation as a result of the enlarged asset base; and
    • The cessation of borrowing cost capitalisation during H1 2015 due to the completion of the Phase 5 Expansion Project, resulting in Amended Loan Facility interest expense of $99 million for the six month period.
  • Income tax recoveries were $111.3 million in H1 2015 (H1 2014 - $103.5 million) due to deferred tax recognized on tax losses carried forward in the DRC.
  • Cash flows from operating activities decreased in H1 2015 due to the decline in profitability, in addition to increased working capital requirements, notably increased inventories and decreased payables. These cash outflows were funded by customer prepayments from Glencore.

Mining

  • During H1 2015 the Company increased the ore production by 21%, when compared to H1 2014; this is principally due to an increase in ore production of 28% at KOV Open Pit where new mining fleet was commissioned in the intervening year. KTO contributed with an 8% increase in ore production, compared to H1 2014 due to higher stope availability resulting from increased backfilling and development. Waste tonnes mined were 5% higher than H1 2014.
  • H1 2015 contained copper increased by 13%, when compared to H1 2014, as the increased volume was partly offset by the lower average copper grade achieved.
  • In H1 2015, the Company commissioned:
    • Two Caterpillar R2900G loaders in KTO to increase the ore and waste handling capacity;
    • One lube truck for use underground;
    • Two Caterpillar D11 dozers and one Caterpillar 834K dozer to optimize mined waste management;
    • Five new Caterpillar 793D haul trucks operating in KOV to increase ore and waste mining capacity (increasing the fleet size to 19); and
    • One Caterpillar AD45B haul truck operating in KTO to facilitate increased ore and waste mining capacity (increasing the fleet size to 17).

Processing


  • Ore milled at KTC during H1 2015 was 31% higher than H1 2014 driven by the increased volumes milled at CM5 (commissioned as part of the Phase 5 Expansion Project).
  • Finished copper metal and concentrate produced increased by 6% over H1 2014 driven by the increased throughput volumes partly offset by the lower mined grades.
  • Cobalt metal produced totalled 1,795 tonnes for H1 2015, a 79% increase from H1 2014 due to the increased volume fed together with improved recoveries thereon.
  • In H1 2015, the Company commissioned the following assets at KTC and Luilu in order to improve throughputs and recoveries:
    • Improvements to the froth skimmers in the KTC oxide flotation section which improved mass-pull in the Wemco cells;
    • Upgrade of cleaner bank cells in the oxide flotation section to improve oxide concentrate grades;
    • Upgrade of 20m3 tank cells in the old re-cleaner circuit with additional pre-floatation cells to increase pre-float capacity;
    • Installation of a second concentrate transfer line to increase concentrate transfer to Luilu;
    • A new pumping station at Mupine tailings facility to increase water capacity to both KTC and Luilu;
    • An upgrade to the existing water filtration plant;
    • A new oxide receiving thickener; and
    • Enhancements to the roaster for utilities, calcine cooling and gas treatment.

Outlook

  • The Board of Directors has approved capital expenditure of $437 million for the upgrading of the Company's production process to enable Whole Ore Leaching. The Company expects that this new process, which is planned to be commissioned in 2017, will improve recoveries on oxide ore and reduce unit costs, as well as increasing the life of mine. Due to related reductions in other planned capital expenditures, the net effect on capital and operating expenditures through to the end of 2018 is expected to be an increase of $104 million and a decrease of $488 million respectively. Glencore has indicated it will provide or procure the additional funding required, if any, for the Whole Ore Leach Project in addition to any funding of an operational or capital nature necessary for sustaining ongoing operations during the Whole Ore Leach Project build and commissioning phases.
  • During Q3 2015, the Company expects to commission:
    • One new Caterpillar 6030 Backhoe Excavator in KOV to facilitate increased ore and waste mining capacity and improve dewatering management;
    • Two new Pump stations (P2A and P6A) in KOV to improve dewatering management and optimize ore and waste removal;
    • Upgrade of Wemco cells and reagent addition system (Tank Cells) at KTC to improve oxide concentrate recoveries and grades;
    • Upgrade of Spray Bars (Tank Cells) at KTC to improve recoveries by breaking the froth and increasing the velocity of concentrate throughput to transfer tank; and
    • New Heap Leach Phase 1 at Luilu (first stacking in Q3 2015 to facilitate a low operating cost per unit model suitable for low grade ore).

Investor conference call

  • The results will be discussed on August 13, 2015 during an analyst and investor conference call with Johnny Blizzard, CEO and Executive Director, and Matthew Colwill, Chief Financial Officer, at 15:00 CEST (Swiss time). A question and answer session will follow management's presentation.
  • Participants may join the call by dialling the numbers listed at www.katangamining.com/investor-relations/events.aspx.
  • A recorded playback of the call can be accessed after the event for 48 hours from August 13, 2015, 19.00 CEST.

This press release was prepared under the supervision of Tim Henderson, Technical Consultant and Director, Katanga and a "qualified person" as such term is defined in NI 43-101. Mr. Henderson has reviewed and approved the contents of this press release.

About Katanga Mining Limited

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. Katanga is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol KAT.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the commissioning of new excavators and pump stations to improve dewatering management at KOV, the impact of the upgrade of Wemco cells and spray bars on recoveries at KTC, the impact of the new heap leach at Luilu, the impact of newly acquired or commissioned equipment on operations, the improvements related to the Whole Ore Leach Project and the overall expected improvement of recoveries and grades. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or describes a "goal", or variation of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.

All forward-looking statements reflect the Company's beliefs and assumptions based on information available at the time the statements were made. Actual results or events may differ from those predicted in these forward-looking statements. All of the Company's forward-looking statements are qualified by the assumptions that are stated or inherent in such forward-looking statements, including the assumptions listed below. Although the Company believes that these assumptions are reasonable, this list is not exhaustive of factors that may affect any of the forward-looking statements. The key assumptions that have been made in connection with the forward-looking statements include: there being no significant disruptions affecting the operations of the Company whether due to labour disruptions, supply disruptions, power disruptions, rollout of new equipment, damage to equipment or otherwise; permitting, development, operations, expansion and acquisitions being consistent with the Company's current expectations; continued recognition of the Company's mining concessions and other assets, rights, titles and interests in the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC"); political and legal developments in the DRC being consistent with its current expectations; the continued provision or procurement of additional funding from Glencore for the operations, the completion of the T17 Underground Mine and the Power Project; the successful completion of, and realizing the intended benefits from the Power Project; new equipment performs to expectations; certain price assumptions for copper and cobalt; prices for diesel, natural gas, fuel oil, electricity and other key supplies being approximately consistent with current levels; the accuracy of the current ore reserve and mineral resource estimates of the Company (including but not limited to ore tonnage and ore grade estimates); and labour and material costs increasing on a basis consistent with the Company's current expectations.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, future events, conditions, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, prediction, projection, forecast, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the actual results of current exploration activities; actual results and interpretation of current reclamation activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of copper and cobalt; possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of exploration, development or construction activities, delays due to strikes or other work stoppage, both internal and external to the Company, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's current annual information form and other publicly filed documents. Although Katanga has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

SOURCE Katanga Mining Limited

For further information: Johnny Blizzard, CEO, Tel: +41 (041) 766 71 10; Matthew Colwill, CFO, Tel:+41 (041) 766 71 10

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