RNS Number : 2672O

Central Asia Metals PLC

07 October 2021

7 October 2021


('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').


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

o Q3 2021, 4,146 tonnes of copper produced

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

   --    Sasa 

o Q3 2021 zinc in concentrate, 5,742 tonnes produced

o Q3 2021 lead in concentrate, 6,927 tonnes produced

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

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


-- 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 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.


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  louise.wrathall@centralasiametals.com 
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 
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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October 07, 2021 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT)

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