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Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Central Asia Metals Plc LSE:CAML London Ordinary Share GB00B67KBV28 ORD USD0.01
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  -0.40 -0.26% 155.40 151.60 153.60 155.00 146.20 155.00 447,480 16:35:30
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Mining 129.5 51.1 22.2 6.5 274

Central Asia Metals PLC Q1 2020 Operations Update

09/04/2020 7:00am

UK Regulatory (RNS & others)


Central Asia Metals (LSE:CAML)
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RNS Number : 2841J

Central Asia Metals PLC

09 April 2020

9 April 2020

CENTRAL ASIA METALS PLC

('CAML' or the 'Company')

Q1 2020 Operations Update

Central Asia Metals plc (AIM: CAML) today provides a Q1 2020 operations update for the Kounrad dump leach, solvent extraction and electro-winning ('SX-EW') copper recovery plant in Kazakhstan ('Kounrad') and the Sasa zinc-lead mine in North Macedonia ('Sasa').

Q1 2020 operational highlights

   -      Production and sales unaffected by COVID-19 pandemic 
   -      No lost time injuries ('LTIs') at either operation 
   -      Kounrad copper production, 3,201 tonnes 
   -      Sasa zinc in concentrate production, 6,127 tonnes 
   -      Sasa lead in concentrate production, 7,607 tonnes 

Outlook

   -      Production currently on track to meet full year 2020 guidance for copper, zinc and lead 

o copper, 12,500 - 13,500 tonnes

o zinc, 23,000 - 25,000 tonnes

o lead, 30,000 - 32,000 tonnes

   -      Global health, metal price and economic uncertainty remains regarding COVID-19 pandemic 

CAML production summary

 
 Metal production (tonnes)    Q1 2020    Q1 2019 
 Copper                         3,201      2,952 
                             --------  --------- 
 Zinc                           6,127      5,639 
                             --------  --------- 
 Lead                           7,607      7,212 
                             --------  --------- 
 

Nigel Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"We are today reporting strong Q1 2020 production numbers for all three of the base metals that we produce, with increases quarter on quarter for copper, zinc and lead. We experienced no disruptions to either the production or sales of our metal products during Q1 2020.

"While we retain our 2020 production guidance, we remain cautious for the Q2 2020 outlook in particular as cases of COVID-19 in both Kazakhstan and North Macedonia are increasing, and government measures are understandably escalating. That said, having made the difficult recent decision not to recommend a 2019 final dividend, we believe we have ensured the continued financial strength of our business while the pandemic continues.

"The welfare of our employees and contractors is our top priority."

Overview - COVID-19

During Q1 2020, both the Sasa mine in North Macedonia and the Kounrad facility in Kazakhstan continued to operate, with no disruptions to production or sales during the period due to COVID-19. No CAML employees have to date been diagnosed with COVID-19 at either operation and the Company has implemented various health measures on its sites, including issuing COVID-19 related personal protective equipment ('PPE'), reinforcing government guidance and hygiene measures, and limiting visits to site.

The Government of Kazakhstan has declared a State of Emergency and has implemented several measures intended to curtail the spread of the pandemic, such as a total lock-down of the cities of Nur-Sultan and Almaty as well as some other larger cities. The borders have been closed for the movement of people but not goods. Currently, 704 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Kazakhstan, with the numbers rising daily.

Similarly, the Government of North Macedonia has declared a State of Emergency, implementing measures such as school closures, night-time curfews and closure of borders to the movement of people and in some cases the movement of trade vehicles. Sasa has to date been able to continue truck movements across the borders and has particular arrangements in place regarding the curfew to enable its night shift to continue to operate. Currently, 599 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Macedonia, with the numbers rising daily.

Kounrad

Kounrad Q1 2020 copper production was 3,201 tonnes. Total Kounrad copper production since operations commenced in 2012 is now 99,446 tonnes, and the Company expects to reach the milestone of 100,000 tonnes of copper produced from Kounrad in Q2 2020.

Total copper recovered from the Western Dumps in Q1 2020 was 2,396 tonnes, equating to approximately 75% of the amount plated.

Copper sales during Q1 2020 were 3,191 tonnes.

Sasa

The new tertiary crusher which was installed in December 2019 was fully commissioned in January 2020. It is performing in line with expectations and consequently the Q1 2020 throughput rate of the Sasa processing plant was approximately 845,000 tonnes per year, up from approximately 820,000 tonnes in 2019.

Having made the Q4 2019 decision to begin a fleet replacement programme of underground equipment, the Sasa team placed orders and the first of six new pieces of equipment, a new Epiroc Boomer drill rig, has arrived on site and is now operational.

Despite travel restrictions, technical work continues for the Life of Mine study that is appraising the change in mining method from the current sub-level caving method to cut and fill stoping. The study is currently expected to be completed during H2 2020.

Production

In Q1 2020, mined and processed ore were 207,788 tonnes and 210,664 tonnes respectively. The average head grades for the period were 3.37% zinc and 3.82% lead. Q1 2020 metallurgical recoveries were 86.4% for zinc and 94.5% for lead.

Sasa produces a zinc concentrate and a separate lead concentrate. In Q1 2020, 12,315 tonnes of concentrate containing 49.8% zinc and 10,560 tonnes of concentrate containing 72.0% lead were produced.

Sasa typically receives from smelters approximately 84% of the value of its zinc in concentrate and approximately 95% of the value of its lead in concentrate. Accordingly, Q1 2020 payable production was 5,142 tonnes of zinc and 7,227 tonnes of lead. Given that deliveries from Sasa to the smelters occur on a regular basis, payable base metal in concentrate sales for the quarter were similar at 5,182 tonnes of zinc and 7,296 tonnes of lead.

During Q1 2020, Sasa sold 91,598 ounces of payable silver to Osisko Gold Royalties, in accordance with its streaming agreement.

 
                               Units      Q1 2020   Q1 2019 
 Ore mined                     t          207,788   197,836 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 Plant feed                    t          210,664   199,489 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 Zinc grade                    %             3.37      3.26 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 Zinc recovery                 %             86.4      86.8 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 Lead grade                    %             3.82      3.84 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 Lead recovery                 %             94.5      94.0 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 Zinc concentrate              t (dry)     12,315    11,447 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 
        *    Grade             %             49.8      49.3 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 
        *    Contained zinc    t            6,127     5,639 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 Lead concentrate              t (dry)     10,560     9,870 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 
        *    Grade             %             72.0      73.1 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 
        *    Contained lead    t            7,607     7,212 
                              ---------  --------  -------- 
 

For further information contact:

 
Central Asia Metals                     Tel: +44 (0) 20 7898 9001 
Nigel Robinson, CEO 
Gavin Ferrar, CFO 
Louise Wrathall, Director of Corporate  louise.wrathall@centralasiametals.com 
 Relations 
 
Peel Hunt (Nominated Advisor and        Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900 
 Joint Broker) 
Ross Allister 
David McKeown 
 
BMO Capital Markets (Joint Broker)      Tel: +44 (0) 20 7236 1010 
Thomas Rider 
Neil Elliot 
 
Blytheweigh (PR Advisors)               Tel: +44 (0) 20 7138 3204 
Tim Blythe 
Megan Ray 
Rachael Brooks 
 

Note to editors:

Central Asia Metals, an AIM-listed UK company based in London, owns 100% of the Kounrad SX-EW copper project in central Kazakhstan and 100% of the Sasa zinc-lead mine in North Macedonia.

For further information, please visit: www.centralasiametals.com and https://twitter.com/CamlMetals

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.

END

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