London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 27 October 2008 – Katanga Mining Limited – the company restarting the largest underground copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC – has commenced a review of capital expenditure commitments with a focus on optimising its development programme in the light of current market conditions.
Stating this in a news release issued here, the company said that while the review was progressing, capital expenditure for Phase 2 of its Kamoto rehabilitation project in the DRC would continue. The second phase of the project is expected to cost US$152 million R1.6 billion, and to be completed by the end of this year,
Capital expenses for the third phase, which was due to start in the fourth quarter of 2008, were US $124 million (R1.3 billion), while the fourth stage would cost US$64 million (R670 million), the company said.
Interim CEO Steven Isaacs said: “This review will help us focus on maximising operating cash flow while preserving balance-sheet capacity and retaining the optionality of our high quality asset base.”
Bloomberg News reports that Katanga joins mining companies – including Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. – which are delaying projects to conserve cash. The credit freeze has choked lending to metal producers and hammered their shares, making equity financing more difficult.