Mawson West to place Kapulo mine in Congo on care and maintenance

2 March 2016 (Last Updated March 2nd, 2016 18:30)

Australian-based Mawson West is set to put mining operations at the Kapulo mine in Congo on care and maintenance by the end of March 2016, due to weak copper prices.

Australia-based Mawson West is set to put mining operations at the Kapulo mine in Congo on care and maintenance by the end of March 2016, due to weak copper prices.

Milling operations at the mine are set to continue into April 2016.

Continued weakness in the price of copper resulted in unprofitable and unsustainable mining operations at the mine, the company said.

Mawson West acting CEO Anthony Lloyd said: "At current prices, the company is producing at levels insufficient to cover its operational and financial obligations, and is also depleting Kapulo's short mine life (four years) to generate little to no free cash flow.

"Continued weakness in the price of copper resulted in unprofitable and unsustainable mining operations at the mine, the company said."

"The company has determined that the best course of action is to place the mine on care and maintenance in order to preserve the asset until such time as the price of copper recovers sufficiently to permit profitable mining."

The company is seeking financing to satisfy current payables and place the Kapulo mine on care and maintenance.

Trafigura's investment arm Galena Private Equity Resources Fund has agreed to provide up to $20m to Mawson West's subsidiary, Anvil Mining Congo.

Mawson West also amended its prepayment facility with Trafigura, by which payments due will cease until the mining operations at Kapulo recommence.

The Kapulo project consists of Shaba, Safari North and Safari South deposits and is situated 124km north-east of the company's operating mine at Dikulushi.

It involves the development of an open cut mine and has proved and probable mineral reserves of 3.6 million tonnes at 3.6% copper and 8.3 grams per tonne silver.