Highlights during the year ended December 31, 2012, and Outlook
- On March 29, 2012, the Company announced that it concluded agreements to secure the development of power supply ("Power Project") for its copper and cobalt mine complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC") sufficient to take production to 310,000 tonnes per annum by 2015 as the Updated Phase 4 expansion of Katanga's mineral project ("Updated Phase 4 expansion") is implemented.
- On December 13, 2012, the Company announced the satisfaction of the conditions precedent to draw down from its previously announced $515.5 million senior secured facility between among others, a Company subsidiary, as borrower, the Company and other subsidiaries as guarantors, and the Glencore Group, as the lender.
- On December 20, 2012, the Company announced the successful production of the first copper cathodes from the newly commissioned facilities as part of the Updated Phase 4 Expansion programme. The new facilities include the first Solvent Extraction ("SX") train with an annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes of copper and the first 144 Electro-Winning ("EW") cells with an annual capacity of 40,000 tonnes of copper. In addition, the Company announced that the new convertor, as part of the World Bank power project, and the new synchronous condenser, as part of the refurbishment of the DRC's power systems, were commissioned and in use as of December 17, 2012. This equipment helps to increase and stabilise power capacity in the region. With the installed convertor and synchronous condenser, the DRC electricity provider, La Société Nationale d'Electricité ("SNEL") is in a position to increase electricity transmission from the Inga power plant, therefore improving the reliability of supply to the Company's operations.
- During 2012, the Company mined 5,544,701 tonnes of ore (a 22% increase over 2011) at a grade of 4.12% resulting in contained copper in ore mined of 228,606 tonnes.
- Ore mined and hoisted at KTO Underground Mine during 2012 was a record 1,838,616 tonnes, a 14% increase over 2011. The average copper grade of ore mined from KTO Underground Mine during 2012 was 3.60%.
- Ore mined at KOV Open Pit during 2012 was a record 3,706,085 tonnes, a 47% increase over 2011. The average copper grade of ore mined from KOV Open Pit during 2012 was 4.38%.
- The Kamoto East Pit was dewatered with 6.6 million cubic metres of water having been removed. The Kamoto East Pit dewatering allows for more efficient and cost effective waste management and the potential development of the Kamoto East mineral resource using underground mining methods.
- Ore milled at the Kamoto Concentrator ("KTC") during 2012 was a production record of 4,612,328 tonnes, an increase of 13% compared to 2011.
- Notwithstanding the power availability issues detailed below, copper produced in metal and concentrate for 2012 totalled a production record of 92,963 tonnes, an increase of 2% compared to 2011.
- Cobalt produced totalled 2,129 tonnes for 2012, a decrease of 13% compared to 2011.
- Copper and cobalt production continued to be adversely affected by recurrent general power disruptions in the DRC. During 2012, approximately 1,609 production hours were lost across the operation due to power disruptions, of which 421 hours were lost in Q4 2012. This amounts to approximately 67 days of lost production and includes the time from the power disruption until equipment is operating at pre-power disruption capacity. The lost production time excludes the adverse impact on equipment availability due to the unplanned shut downs and subsequent start ups of the equipment due to the power disruptions. With the commissioning in mid-December 2012 of the World Bank convertor and the Power Project synchronous condenser, power disruptions have decreased. In the medium to long term, improvements in infrastructure as a result of the Power Project are expected to improve the reliability and stability of electricity supplies generally.
- Mechanical completion of the Updated Phase 4 Expansion is expected in the third quarter of 2013 which will enable Katanga to both increase total processing capacity as well as upgrade the quality of copper produced through the application of modern technologies.
- The first phase of the feasibility study for the potential T17 underground mine is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2013. This will potentially allow for the exploitation of additional T17 mineral resources below the bottom of the current open pit using underground mining techniques.
The Company will release its 2012 year-end financial results at market open on or about February 13, 2013.
This press release was prepared under the supervision of Tim Henderson, Technical Consultant, 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 increase in copper and cobalt production levels, and the anticipated decrease in power disruption relating to the upgrade in power infrastructure, the mechanical completion of the Updated Phase 4 Expansion, the completion of the upgrade in power infrastructure, the commencement of mining at the extension to the T17 Open Pit and the completion of the feasibility study for the potential T17 underground mine. 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.
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, 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:
Jeff Best CEO Tel: +41 (041) 766 71 10
Paul Inbona CFO Tel:+41 (041) 766 71 10