The search for the seven colleagues missing since the geotechnical failure has been underway for 10 days, during which time, three bodies have been located, one of which remains to be positively identified. Despite all available resources being made available for the search effort, no further individuals have been located.
Therefore, it is with deep regret that the Company must now assume that any individual who was in KOV open pit at the time of the incident will not have survived. The activities in KOV open pit will now be focussed on the recovery phase of the operation as weather and ground conditions allow.
The Company expresses its sincere condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the individuals who have died as a result of this tragic incident. All appropriate support will be provided.
The Company continues to work closely with the relevant authorities. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the geotechnical failure and further updates will be issued as appropriate.
Hugh Stoyell, Chairman of Katanga, commented:
"It is with heavy hearts that we shift our focus at Katanga from search and rescue to that of recovery. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased who are receiving our full support. I also wish to express my gratitude to the search and rescue team for their determined efforts."
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 suspension of copper and cobalt processing, reductions in headcount and contractor demobilization process, the impact of newly acquired or commissioned equipment on operations, the ongoing development of T17 Underground Mine, the improvements related to the Whole Ore Leach Project, the expectation of resumption of production and the impact of the timing thereof, 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 the following: the operations of the Company during the production suspension and timeline for the recommencement of operations remaining consistent with management's expectations, 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 at the Project 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 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 operations, the completion of the T17 Underground Mine, the WOL Project and the Power Project; the successful completion of, and realizing the intended benefits from the WOL Project and the Power Project; new equipment performs to expectations; the successful development of the T17 Underground Mine; the exchange rate between the US dollar, South African rand, British pounds, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc, Congolese franc and Euro being approximately consistent with current levels; 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; production and cost of sales forecasts for the Company meeting expectations; 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