ZUG, Switzerland, Nov. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Katanga Mining Limited (TSX: KAT) ("Katanga" or the "Company") today announces its financial results for the third quarter of 2014 and a management change. Katanga's Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis will be filed on SEDAR, www.sedar.com.
Highlights during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2014, and Outlook
- During the three months ended September 30, 2014 ("Q3 2014"), the Company mined a record 2,224,963 tonnes of ore, a 42% increase over the three months ended September 30, 2013 ("Q3 2013"), at a grade of 3.65% resulting in contained copper in ore mined of 81,154 tonnes. During the nine months ended September 30, 2014 ("Q3 YTD 2014"), the Company mined 5,569,871 tonnes of ore, a 19% increase over the nine months ended September 30, 2013 ("Q3 YTD 2013"), at a grade of 3.81% resulting in contained copper in ore mined of 212,135 tonnes.
- Ore mined at KOV Open Pit during Q3 2014 was a record 1,654,153 tonnes, a 50% increase from Q3 2013. The average copper grade of ore mined from KOV Open Pit during Q3 2014 was 3.72%, resulting in contained copper in ore mined of 61,599 tonnes. Waste mined at KOV Open Pit during Q3 2014 was 8,273,637 tonnes, a 22% decrease over Q3 2013. Ore mined at KOV Open Pit during Q3 YTD 2014 was 4,013,809 tonnes, a 19% increase over Q3 YTD 2013. The average copper grade of ore mined from KOV Open Pit during Q3 YTD 2014 was 3.99%, resulting in contained copper in ore mined of 160,344 tonnes. Waste mined at KOV Open Pit during Q3 YTD 2014 was 23,422,465 tonnes, a 5% increase over Q3 YTD 2013. Total volume increase was attributed to the addition of 4 new Caterpillar 793D haul trucks in Q2 2014.
- Ore mined at KTO Underground Mine during Q3 2014 was 496,369 tonnes, an 11% increase over Q3 2013. The average copper grade of ore mined from KTO Underground Mine during Q3 2014 was 3.37%, resulting in contained copper in ore mined of 16,717 tonnes. Ore mined at KTO Underground Mine during Q3 YTD 2014 was 1,447,983 tonnes, a 13% increase over Q3 YTD 2013. The average copper grade of ore mined from KTO Underground Mine during Q3 YTD 2014 was 3.33%, resulting in contained copper in ore mined of 48,223 tonnes. Total volume increase was primarily due to higher stope availability resulting from increased backfilling and development.
- During Q3 2014, the Company reduced the rate of the T17 Underground Mine development project in order to focus underground mining efforts on KTO and Kamoto East Underground Mine ("KTE") (an extension of KTO). In order to maintain its current minable status, T17 Underground Mine development will continue but at a slower rate, with developmental ore extraction now expected to commence in Q2 2015.
- In Q3 2014, the Company commissioned:
- Modifications to the cement plant at KTO further improved cement backfilling rates.
- Additionally, in Q3 YTD 2014, the Company commissioned:
- Four new Caterpillar 793D haul trucks operating in KOV to increase ore and waste mining capacity and reduce contractor dependency;
- Two new Caterpillar 992K loaders and two Caterpillar drill rigs at KOV, to increase loading capacity and reduce dependency on contractor primary and secondary drilling;
- Shaft 2 winder upgrade at KTO; and
- Six Caterpillar AD45 and three new Atlas Copco MT436B underground mine trucks, this equipment is expected to accelerate development, whilst reducing contractor dependency.
- Ore milled at the Kamoto Concentrator ("KTC") during Q3 2014 was a record 1,541,926 tonnes, a 4% increase over Q3 2013. Ore milled at KTC during Q3 YTD 2014 was 4,583,850 tonnes, a 12% increase over Q3 YTD 2013.
- In Q3 2014, a record 269,802 tonnes of concentrate (56% higher than Q3 2013) containing 51,658 tonnes of copper (25% higher than Q3 2013) were produced. In Q3 YTD 2014, 618,146 tonnes of concentrate (27% higher than Q3 YTD 2013) containing 131,079 tonnes of copper (16% higher than Q3 YTD 2013) were produced.
- At Luilu Metallurgical Plant ("Luilu"), copper produced in metal and concentrate for Q3 2014 totalled a record 42,619 tonnes, a 23% increase over Q3 2013. Copper produced in metal and concentrate for Q3 YTD 2014 totalled 115,219 tonnes, a 22% increase over Q3 YTD 2013.
- Cobalt metal produced totalled a record 899 tonnes for Q3 2014, a 21% increase from Q3 2013. Cobalt metal produced totalled 1,900 tonnes for Q3 YTD 2014, an 8% increase from Q3 YTD 2013.
- In Q3 2014, the Company commissioned:
- Oxide flotation roughers at KTC;
- An oxide receiving thickener CCD conversion at Luilu; and
- A heap leach pad extension, to increase capacity for the processing of lower grade ore.
- This plant and equipment is expected to increase production and lower costs through various incremental process improvements.
- Additionally, in Q3 YTD 2014, the Company commissioned:
- KTC reagent preparation plant and dosing and distribution systems, improving recoveries and decreasing costs;
- Lime plant bays and sodium-metabisulfite plants at Luilu, improving cobalt precipitation and overall cobalt recovery;
- Roaster line 2 at Luilu, adding additional sulphide roasting capacity; and
- Diluent storage facility, improving cost control.
- During Q3 2014, Phase 5, which includes EW3 (electro-winning tankhouse) and CM5 (ball mill), continued to progress in line with expectation, with $144.1 million having been spent to date. For CM5, the construction was mechanically complete in October 2014. For EW3, EW3A was commissioned in Q3 2014 and the remaining section, EW3B, has been commissioned in October 2014.
- As announced on March 3, 2014, Katanga received a commitment (the "Commitment") from Glencore Finance (Bermuda) Limited, an affiliate of Glencore International AG ("Glencore") to, among other things, extend the maturity of its outstanding loan facilities to January 1, 2018 (the "Amended Facilities"). Glencore has now offered to extend the maturity of the Amended Facilities to January 1, 2021. On November 13, 2014, the board of directors of the Company approved in principle the new maturity date of the Amended Facilities, comprised of the Senior Facility and Term Loan, each as amended. The Commitment and the Amended Facilities remain subject to final documentation being agreed and customary drawdown conditions being satisfied.
- Total sales for Q3 2014 were $300.5 million, a 42% increase over Q3 2013. Total sales for Q3 YTD 2014 were $815.6 million, a 35% increase over Q3 YTD 2013.
- The realized copper price for Q3 2014 was $3.09/lb, a 6% decrease over Q3 2013, while the realized cobalt price was $13.00/lb, a 36% increase from Q3 2013. The realized copper price for Q3 YTD 2014 was $3.07/lb, a 4% decrease over Q3 YTD 2013, while the realized cobalt price was $12.38/lb, a 10% increase from Q3 YTD 2013.
- For Q3 2014, the Company earned a net income attributable to shareholders of $38.6 million, a decrease of $4.0 million from Q3 2013. For Q3 YTD 2014, the Company earned a net income attributable to shareholders of $116.5 million, an increase of $29.3 million from Q3 YTD 2013.
- C1 cash costs for Q3 2014 were $1.96 per pound of copper, a 37% improvement over Q3 2013. C1 cash costs for Q3 YTD 2014 were $2.20 per pound of copper, a 36% improvement over Q3 YTD 2013. Refer to Non-IFRS measures in Katanga's Q3 2014 Management's Discussion and Analysis.
- Cash and cash equivalents as at September 30, 2014, amounted to $34.4 million (December 31, 2013 - $25.7 million). Cash inflows from operating activities (excluding customer prepayments funded through the Amended Loan Facilities) were $72.9 million higher in Q3 2014 and $234.9 million higher in Q3 YTD 2014, when compared to Q3 2013 and Q3 YTD 2013. Refer to Non-IFRS measures in Katanga's Q3 2014 Management's Discussion and Analysis.
- During Q4 2014:
- Operational ramp up is expected to continue with: the expected completion of the Phase 5 project; identified operational improvements expected to lead to higher metal recovery rates; and additional steps to mitigate ongoing power issues, all expected to lead to reductions in C1 costs as a result of increased volume;
- KOV fleet dispatch tracking system will be deployed and is expected to increase control over tracking and dispatch of open pit mobile equipment;
- A slurry analyzer will be installed at KTC which is expected to assist in rapid determination of the mineral composition of the slurry before floatation, allowing a more precise and optimal reagent mix.
- Additional pregnant leach solution and raffinate ponds are to be added to the current process flow at Luilu, in order to split the ponds into high and low grade solution which is expected to drive higher recoveries and lower reagent consumption in the leach and neutralization phase;
- A new oxide concentrate transfer system from KTC to Luilu is planned to be installed which will assist with the anticipated increased oxide concentrate volumes from CM5, which is also scheduled to be commissioned during Q4 2014;
- A new tailings transfer system from KTC to Mupine tailings dam is planned to be installed, similarly to assist with the anticipated increased tailings material produced from the increased flotation volumes; and
- Seven and ten megawatt diesel cogeneration plants are expected to be commissioned, adding a further 17 megawatts to the system, bringing total internal generating and back-up capacity to 27 megawatts and resulting in decreased electricity availability issues.
The Company further announces that Mr. Richmond Fenn, Chief Operating Officer of the Company, tendered his resignation, effective immediately, to pursue other opportunities within the Glencore Group. Mr. Fenn will remain available to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. Mr. Don Peterson, the Company's head of mining operations, has been appointed to act as interim Chief Operating Officer until a permanent replacement has been appointed.
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 anticipated decrease in power disruption relating to the upgrade in power infrastructure, the matters relating to the Power Project, the matters relating to the Loan Facilities and other potential loan transactions with Glencore or its subsidiaries, the completion of final documentation and satisfaction of usual and customary drawdown conditions relating to the Amended Loan Facilities, the completion of the Phase 5 Project and the expected benefits derived there from, the completion of the upgrade in power infrastructure, the expectation that the deployment of the fleet dispatch tracking system at KOV will increase control over tracking and dispatch of open pit mobile equipment, plans to install a slurry analyzer at KTC expected to result in a more precise and optimal reagent mix, the installation of additional pregnant leach solution and raffinate pond at Luilu, with the expected result of higher recoveries and lower reagent consumption, the commissioning of CM5, the installation of a new oxide concentrate transfer system from KTC to Luilu and a new tailings transfer system from KTC to Mulpine tailings dam each to handle the expected increase of oxide concentrate volumes from CM5, the expected decrease in C1 cash costs, the ongoing development of T17 Underground Mine and the 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, 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 completion of the Phase 5 Project, and the Power Project; the successful completion of, and realizing the intended benefits from the Phase 5 Project and the Power Project; new equipment performs to expectations; the completion of final documentation and satisfaction of usual and customary drawdown conditions relating to the Amended Loan Facilities; 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: Jeff Best, CEO, Tel: +41 (041) 766 71 10; Jacques Lubbe, CFO, Tel:+41 (041) 766 71 10