Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 21 February, 2008 – Mining, exploration and development company Pan African Resources plc – listed on the AIM and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Altx – reports that it has achieved an upward move from a junior exploration operation to a mid-tier exploration and gold producing company.
The six months to 31 December 2007 represent the first reporting period for the company following the acquisition of 74% of Barberton Mines (Pty) Ltd, completed 31 July 2007.
Releasing its interim results for the second half of 2007, the company revealed an impressive EBITDA turnaround of £4.7million R70 million) from a loss of £0.7 million (more than R9 million) in the nine months to 31 December 2006 to a positive £4 million in July to December 2007.
“The focus on accelerating capital expenditure at Barberton has paid off with several projects delivering beyond initial expectations,” the results statement explained. “With the revenue derived from the Barberton operations, we have been able to accelerate activities in Mozambique and the Central African Republic,” it added, “and we have benefited from the strong gold price and believe our profitability is sustainable at current gold prices.”
The three operating gold mines at Barberton – Fairview, Sheba and New Consort – together with the calcine slimes dam re-treatment, produced 47 486 oz for the period under review at a cash cost of US$521 per ounce. Despite a decline in underground gold production, total gold production on the mine has increased, because of company focus on several projects intended to replace current mined reserves and grow them.
The calcine slimes dam re-treatment project is expected to run for a further 12 months, and several projects have been initiated to access areas which will serve to replace current mined areas over the course of the next two years.
Three major exploration targets – the Amira, Eagles Nest and Thomas-Victory Hill areas – have been identified within the current mine lease area and contiguous prospect area to the mine. “Sampling is progressing well ahead of schedule and is planned for completion by the end of Q2 2008,”said the results statement.
It added that capital expenditure at Barberton Mines totalled £1.5million (R23 million), of which £1,0million (more than R15 million) was mainly spent on underground development and £500 000 (Almost R8 million) on the Calcine slimes dam project.
Turning to exploration, the statement revealed that geological work at the Manica project in Mozambique has focused on the Fair Bride prospect where the company is currently completing a pre-feasibility study for what could become Mozambique’s first commercial gold mine. A resource upgrade is expected to be announced by Q1 2008.
In the Central African Republic, sampling at the Dekoa project has delineated several major target areas which will be followed up by drilling during Q3 and Q4 of 2008. The company has also signed a mining convention for the Bogoin gold project. In Ghana it has finalised two licence acquisitions at the Akrokerri and Kyereboso gold projects.
Exploration expenditure at Pan African’s projects in Mozambique, Central African Republic and Ghana totaled £1,6million (R25 million) for the period under review.
“Pan African’s association with Pangea Exploration and Metorex brings additional exploration capacity and mining skills which position the company to actively seek early and advanced stage mining opportunities to compliment its own greenfield portfolio,” the statement continued.
“We believe global macro-economic fundamentals support a favourable gold price in the medium term, and the combination of activities at our mining, grassroots and more advanced exploration assets is expected to deliver robust results for the next reporting period,” it concluded