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Katanga Mining moving ahead

Katanga’s Kamoto
concentrator in
the DRC
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 07 November 2008 – Katanga Mining Limited – which operates a large-scale copper-cobalt project with substantial high-grade mineral reserves and integrated metallurgical operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – says production for 2008 is forecast to total 22 000 tonnes of copper cathode, 900 tonnes of cobalt metal, and 43 500 tonnes of cobalt concentrate, containing 2 600 tonnes of payable copper and 1,200 tonnes of payable cobalt.

Releasing its results here for the quarter ended 30 September 2008, the company said it had commenced a review of capital expenditure with a focus on optimising its development programme considering current market conditions. This review is targeting the maximisation of operating cash flows and reducing project capital expenditure requirements, while preserving optionality for development of the company’s world class asset base.

The results release revealed copper cathode production during the quarter of 6 812 tonnes; cobalt metal production of 356 tonnes; and production of 14 588 tonnes of concentrate – up 28%, 196% and 8% respectively on the previous quarter.

It added that total net sales for the quarter had increased by 12% to US$57.6 million (R580 million), comprising US$22.5 million (4 197 tonnes) for copper cathode, US$17.9 million (290 tonnes) for cobalt metal, and US$17.2 million (6 847 tonnes) for cobalt concentrate sales.

The net loss for the quarter of US$38.8 million ($0.19 per share), compared with a net loss for the third quarter of 2007 of US$16.4 million ($0.21 per share).  
Commenting on the results, Katanga interim CEO Steven Isaacs said: “We are pleased to report a steady ramp-up in production of copper, cobalt and cobalt concentrate during the third quarter. Significant improvements were made during the quarter at our Luilu metallurgical plant. Concentrate dewatering and residue filtration improvements were implemented resulting in enhanced throughput and extractive efficiency in both the copper and cobalt circuits.”

He added that overall – despite the near-term challenges and the decline in commodities markets – the company remained positive about the outlook for Katanga, consistent with both our high quality asset base and our progress regarding the mining contract review.