Frontier Mining looks forward with confidence, Benkala copper production just weeks away

July 02. Proactive Investors Australia

By Andre Lamberti

Frontier Mining looks forward with confidence, Benkala copper production just weeks awayFrontier Mining (LON:FML) said it is looking forward with confidence to 2012 as it reported results for the full-year to end-December 2011, a period which saw transformational progress, particularly on its flagship Benkala copper project in Kazakhstan.

Extensive construction of the mine, plant, infrastructure and facilities at Benkala continued at pace throughout 2011 and the company expects production of the first copper cathodes within a few weeks.

The solvent extraction/electro winning plant is undergoing final testing prior to receiving the first copper solution for processing; initial planned production capacity is 7,000 tonnes per annum, to be increased to 10,000 tpa before the end of the year.

During the year under review, Frontier invested approximately US$39.8 million directly into the project and plans additional investments of US$26 million to ensure production of between 3,500 and 5,000 tonnes of copper this year, bringing Frontier significant revenue streams for the first time.

At the Baitemir copper project, Frontier completed further drilling and trenching work during 2011.  It plans to produce a JORC standard resource report by the end of the year.

The group is confident that Baitemir presents a significant new discovery and intends to continue exploration and look at the technical aspects of a mining operation there, with initial production provisionally planned for 2016.

Chairman and chief executive Erlan Sagadiev said:  “Frontier Mining is now focussed on copper production at Benkala and further discoveries across our other licenses to deliver significant value to our shareholder’s during 2012. We therefore look forward to 2012 with confidence.”

“Benkala will transform Frontier from a fledgling development company into a major independent copper producer. The development plan for the sulphide deposit and expansion of production capacity to 20,000 tpa will entrench the roots for Frontier’s continued growth,” he added.

Frontier posted revenues of US3.25 million in 2011, mainly from gold and silver sales from the now-suspended Koskuduk deposit, and a pretax profit for the year of US36.6 million, principally due to a gain from the revaluation of Benkala.

Frontier Mining (LON: FML) is a mineral exploration and development Company focussed on gold and copper deposits in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, Frontier locates, evaluates, acquires, explores and develops mineral properties.

Frontier currently operates two licenses in Kazakhstan, Naimanjal (100% owned) and Benkala (50% owned). Naimanjal operations currently consist of five projects; a producing gold mine, a test stage gold production project, a potential copper porphyry deposit with associated gold and molybdenum, and copper/gold prospects along a 25km trend including both VMS and porphyry types.

Benkala is a copper-molybdenum-gold deposit located in north-western Kazakhstan, within the Urals gold/copper ore belt.