RNS Number : 2672O
Central Asia Metals PLC
07 October 2021
 

7 October 2021

 

CENTRAL ASIA METALS PLC

('CAML' or the 'Company')

Q3 2021 Operations Update

Central Asia Metals plc (AIM: CAML) today provides a Q3 2021 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').

Summary

·    No lost time injuries ('LTIs') at either Kounrad or Sasa during Q3 2021

·    Kounrad

Q3 2021, 4,146 tonnes of copper produced

First nine months of 2021, 10,360 tonnes of copper produced

·    Sasa

Q3 2021 zinc in concentrate, 5,742 tonnes produced

Q3 2021 lead in concentrate, 6,927 tonnes produced

First nine months of 2021 zinc in concentrate, 17,033 tonnes produced

First nine months of 2021 lead in concentrate, 20,734 tonnes produced

 

Outlook

·    On course to achieve top end of 2021 guidance range for Kounrad's copper production (12,500 to 13,500 tonnes)

·   On course to achieve lower end of 2021 guidance range for Sasa's zinc production (23,000 to 25,000 tonnes) and expect lead production in the order of 5% below guidance (30,000 to 32,000 tonnes)

 

CAML production summary

Metal production (tonnes)

Q3 2021

Q2 2021

Q1 2021

9m 2021

9m 2020

Copper

4,146

3,334

2,880

10,360

10,490

Zinc

5,742

5,549

5,742

17,033

17,966

Lead

6,927

6,791

7,016

20,734

22,300

 

Nigel Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"I am pleased to report strong production from both of our operations during Q3 2021. At Kounrad, we remain on track to meet the top end of our production guidance, and at Sasa, we have reported improved zinc and lead grades for the period, which have resulted in higher metal production than the previous quarter. We expect this trend to continue into Q4, although 2021 production for lead may be in the order of 5% below our guidance.

"Since reporting our H1 2021 financial results, we have now made the $10 million accelerated debt repayment, which should mean we will have reduced our corporate debt facility to zero by August 2022. Given the strength of the Company's balance sheet, CAML is now more actively assessing potential acquisitions which would be considered accretive to the business and reviewed a number of opportunities during the period."

 

Health and Safety

There were no LTIs at either Kounrad or Sasa during Q3 2021. Also, there were no medical treatment injuries ('MTIs') at either operation and therefore zero Group total recordable injuries ('TRIs') during the quarter.

COVID-19 remains a risk to the welfare of CAML employees and contractors and there have been a few cases of the virus at both Kounrad and Sasa during the reported period. Despite this, the Company is confident that its COVID-19 procedures and vaccination levels at both operations will be sufficient to protect the welfare of its employees, meet respective government guidance and maintain production.

Kounrad

Kounrad Q3 2021 copper production of 4,146 tonnes brings output for the first nine months of 2021 to 10,360 tonnes. Copper sales during Q3 2021 were 3,956 tonnes, bringing the total for the first nine months of the year to 10,197 tonnes.

Sasa

In Q3 2021, mined and processed ore were 200,820 tonnes and 203,043 tonnes respectively, bringing the total for the first nine months of 2021 to 614,807 tonnes of ore mined and 626,906 tonnes of ore processed. The average head grades for the quarter were 3.30% zinc and 3.64% lead, and for the first nine months of the year were 3.19% and 3.54% respectively. The average metallurgical recoveries marginally increased during the period to 85.1% for zinc and 93.4% for lead.

Sasa produces a zinc concentrate and a separate lead concentrate. In Q3 2021, 11,433 tonnes of concentrate containing 50.2% zinc and 9,738 tonnes of concentrate containing 71.1% lead were produced. Total production for the first nine months of the year was 34,003 tonnes of zinc concentrate at an average grade of 50.1% and 28,856 tonnes of lead concentrate at an average grade of 71.9%.  

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, Q3 2021 payable production of zinc was 4,827 tonnes and of lead was 6,580 tonnes, bringing total payable production for the nine-month period to 14,313 tonnes of zinc and 19,697 tonnes of lead.

Given that deliveries from Sasa to the smelters occur on a regular basis, payable base metal in concentrate sales for the nine-month period were similar at 14,154 tonnes of zinc and 19,630 tonnes of lead.

During the first nine months of 2021, Sasa sold 238,535 ounces of payable silver to Osisko Gold Royalties, in accordance with its streaming agreement. 

 

 

Units

Q3 2021

9m 2021

9m 2020

Ore mined

t

200,820

614,807

618,240

Plant feed

t

203,043

626,906

612,716

Zinc grade

%

3.30

3.19

3.41

Zinc recovery

%

85.6

85.1

86.1

Lead grade

%

3.64

3.54

3.86

Lead recovery

%

93.8

93.4

94.2

Zinc concentrate

t (dry)

11,433

34,003

35,958

-      Grade

%

50.2

50.1

50.0

-      Contained zinc

t

5,742

17,033

17,966

Lead concentrate

t (dry)

9,738

28,856

31,005

-      Grade

%

71.1

71.9

71.9

-      Contained lead

t

6,927

20,734

22,300

 

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014, as retained in the UK pursuant to S3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

 

For further information contact:

Central Asia Metals

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7898 9001

Nigel Robinson, CEO

 

Gavin Ferrar, CFO

 

Louise Wrathall, Director of Corporate Relations

louise.wrathall@centralasiametals.com

 

 

Peel Hunt (Nominated Advisor and Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Ross Allister

 

David McKeown

 

 

 

BMO Capital Markets (Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7236 1010

Thomas Rider

 

Pascal Lussier Duquette

 

 

 

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 follow CAML on Twitter at @CamlMetals and on LinkedIn at Central Asia Metals Plc

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