Central Asia Metals PLC 2016 Operations Update

Central Asia Metals PLC 2016 Operations Update

Central Asia Metals plc (AIM: CAML) today provides a Q4 and full year 2016 production update for the Kounrad dump leach, solvent extraction and electro-winning (SX-EW) copper recovery plant in Kazakhstan (“Kounrad”).

Summary:

·    

Record annual copper production of 14,020 tonnes (2015: 12,071 tonnes)

·    

Q4 copper production of 3,010 tonnes (2015: 3,661 tonnes)

·    

2016 copper sales of 13,938 tonnes (2015: 12,040 tonnes)

·    

2017 production guidance of 13,000 to 14,000 tonnes

Kounrad Q4 2016 production

Kounrad Q4 output of 3,010 tonnes of copper cathode brings total production for 2016 to 14,020 tonnes, a 16% increase on 2015. Total copper produced from Kounrad since operations commenced in 2012 is now 54,322 tonnes.

Copper cathode sales for the year ending 31 December 2016 of 13,938 tonnes represents an increase of 16% on 2015. The copper was sold predominantly through CAML’s off-take sales arrangement with Traxys.

As of 31 December 2016, CAML’s cash position was $40 million.

Stage 2 Expansion update

The Stage 2 Expansion project is now materially complete. This work comprised construction of buildings, a boiler house, collector trenches, electrical supply and infrastructure, as well as ponds and pipelines to connect the SX-EW plant to the Western Dumps area. The total capital cost is expected to be approximately 30% below the original budget of $19.5 million. Copper production from the Western Dumps will commence on schedule in Q2 2017.

2017 production guidance

CAML targets 2017 Kounrad copper cathode production of between 13,000 and 14,000 tonnes. The majority of 2017 copper production will be leached from the Eastern Dumps. From Q2 2017 onwards, CAML expects an increasing percentage of overall copper production to be leached from the Western Dumps.

Copper Bay

The Copper Bay definitive feasibility study (DFS) was completed at the end of Q4 2016 and is currently being reviewed by management. The results of this study and plans for this project will be announced in due course.

 

Nick Clarke, Executive Chairman, commented:

“Once again, we are pleased to report record annual copper production and sales in 2016.

“In the coming year, we target copper production of between 13,000 and 14,000 tonnes and we will begin to supplement copper from the Eastern Dumps with metal from the Western Dumps following the completion of our Stage 2 Expansion programme.

“In an improved copper price environment and with all major capital at Kounrad expended, we are optimistic about the future. Our objective of continuing to deliver value to shareholders through our industry leading dividend policy remains firmly in place. Our 2016 annual results are scheduled to be released on 4 April 2017, when our final dividend for 2016 will also be announced.”

For further information contact:

Central Asia Metals plc

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7898 9001

Nick Clarke, Executive Chairman

Nigel Robinson, CFO

Louise Wrathall, Investor Relations

louise.wrathall@centralasiametals.com

Peel Hunt (Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Matthew Armitt

Ross Allister

Mirabaud Securities (Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7878 3362

Peter Krens

Bell Pottinger (PR Advisers)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3772 2500

Lorna Cobbett

Aarti Iyer

Marianna Bowes


Note to editors:

Central Asia Metals plc, an AIM-listed UK company based in London, owns 100% of the Kounrad SX-EW copper project in Kazakhstan. The Company also has a 75% equity interest in Copper Bay Ltd, which is a private company with the copper project in Chañaral Bay, Chile. In November 2016, Central Asia Metals plc signed a framework agreement to acquire an effective 80% interest in the Shuak copper exploration property in northern Kazakhstan. Central Asia Metals plc has a dividend policy based on distributing a minimum of 20% of gross revenues from Kounrad. For further information, please visit www.centralasiametals.com.  

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