Final Results: Preliminary Statement
Goldplat plc, the AIM listed gold producer, is pleased to announce its results for the year ended 30 June 2009.
- Record pre-tax profits of £2.4 million for the year ended 30 June 2009 (2008: £1.6 million)
- Healthy cash position with £2.2 million in the bank (2008: £1.5 million)
- South African and Ghanaian gold recovery plants performing strongly - production totalled 21,068 ounces ('oz') of gold ('Au') (2008: 19,322 oz Au)
- Stocks of materials for processing in South Africa and Ghana continued to increase securing future production - 88,000 oz of contained gold in stockpiles
- Finalising agreement to acquire remaining 50% of Kilimapesa Gold (Pty) Limited ('Kilimapesa Gold') in Kenya from International Gold Exploration AB ('IGE') for US$2.7 million
- Developing Kilimapesa Hill gold mining project with a view to establishing a formal mining operation - working towards a JORC compliant resource to clarify its economic potential
- Evaluating opportunities to acquire other mining projects with deposits of between 200,000 and 1,000,000 oz Au with a short lead time to production throughout Africa
This has been another year of strong growth, increasing production at both our recovery plants in South Africa and Ghana , and advancing our Kenyan gold mining operation. We are delivering on our strategy of consolidating our position as the market leader in gold recovery from by-products of the mining process in Africa and advancing our activities in gold mining in order to achieve our objective of becoming a mid-tier gold mining house.
We have continued to expand the range of materials being processed and the techniques used at our recovery plants and have also focused on developing the Kilimapesa Hill gold mining project in Kenya with a view to establishing a formal mining operation. Additional projects are also being evaluated, primarily in West Africa , as we endeavour to expand our portfolio, utilise our strong treasury and leverage the expertise of the team to generate further value.
During the period under review we have increased profitability at the recovery operations, producing 13,960 oz Au (2008: 15,239 oz Au) from the South African operations and 7,108 oz Au (2008: 4,083 oz Au) from the Ghanaian operations for the financial year ended 30 June 2009. This generated strong revenue of £11.1 million (2008: £7.7 million) culminating in pre-tax profits of £2.4 million (2008: £1.6 million). Exceptional items affected the headline profit. The sale of 15% of our South African operations to satisfy Black Economic Empowerment ('BEE') rules resulted in a profit of £420,000. Against that there is a charge of £134,000 in respect of the options granted to directors and senior management. The strong improvement of the South African Rand exchange rate against the United States Dollar during the second half of the year negated the large gains achieved at half year. From a trading point of view the second half remained strong.
Our cash position remained healthy with £2.2 million (2008: £1.5 million) in the bank. No dividend is proposed as the profits will be retained for further expansion of our operations and to accelerate our growth strategy.
We have continued to build stockpiles of materials to process at both our gold recovery plants. To this end, we have 37,000 oz of contained gold in stockpiles at our South African plant, with a further 16,000 oz contractually secured off-site, and 35,000 oz of contained gold in stockpiles in Ghana , securing future production.
Additionally we increased capacity at the South African operations by commissioning a larger mill and increasing our flotation capacity. In Ghana we purchased a fluidised bed incinerator and installed a spiral plant which is currently being commissioned. These improvements will have a positive effect on future production and enhance the flexibility of the operations. At current prices and average production costs in the region of £413 per oz Au (2008: £372 per oz Au) at our South African operations and £456 per oz Au (2008: £393 per oz Au) in Ghana , I believe the potential of our operations to generate significant cash flow for the Company is very evident.
Our wholly owned subsidiary, Gold Mineral Resources Limited (GMR), has agreed to acquire the remaining 50% interest in Kilimapesa Gold from IGE, together with IGE's loans to Kilimapesa Gold. On completion Goldplat will own 100% of the project. Kilimapesa Gold includes the Kilimapesa Hill gold mine and adjacent exploration assets as per the agreement with IGE. The total consideration for the acquisition is US$2.7 million, of which US$1.2 million is payable on completion of the Sale Agreement, and the balance in six monthly amounts of US$250,000.
As a result Kilimapesa Gold is required to convert its existing exploration licence to a mining licence, and until the mining licence is issued Kilimapesa Gold is not permitted to make commercial sales of gold. This change is now with the Kenyan Authorities, and is expected to be granted soon. Kilimapesa Gold will then be in a position to move into commercial production and an announcement regarding our future mining plans will be made on the issuing of the mining licence. In addition, we expect to be able to announce a JORC compliant resource in the near future as a result of our exploration and development programme.
We had had hoped to commence commercial production of gold at the Kilimapesa Hill gold mining project early in 2009. Our inability to sell gold under the previous exploration licence, combined with the recent modifications to the processing plant, resulted in commercial production being deferred and the financial statements have been prepared on the basis the Kilimapesa Gold remained in a pre-production phase.
In line with our objective of building a mid-tier mining house, we are also evaluating opportunities to acquire other mining projects with deposits of between 200,000 and 1,000,000 oz Au with a short lead time to production throughout Africa . A number are under evaluation using stringent criteria to ensure that the Company's resources will not be dissipated. Our focus at this point in the economic cycle is on the acquisition of mining assets, rather than building new reprocessing facilities.
Staff relations in all Goldplat's group companies remain good. The operations have an excellent safety record, with no reportable accidents at any of our subsidiaries. We greatly benefit from the support of the governments in the countries in which we operate, and in turn, we provide employment and contribute towards important environmental obligations. The Company's continued involvement in the local communities we operate in has had a beneficial impact on Goldplat's image.
On a corporate level, John Woolgar, a non-executive Director since the flotation of Goldplat, has stepped down from the Board with effect from 31 August 2009, in order to devote more time to new projects where he has executive responsibilities. I would like take this opportunity to thank John for all his efforts on behalf of Goldplat, particularly during the flotation of the Company and establishing its London presence over the years.
In conclusion, the last year has seen Goldplat build upon its strengths as the market leader in gold recovery from by-products of the mining process in Africa to produce record profits. In addition, our objective of becoming a mid-tier miner is underway with Kilimapesa Gold moving towards profitable production and other projects under review. The current favourable gold price environment is enhancing our value and we are in a strong position for growth. I believe Goldplat has an exciting potential and a team with which to realise this.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the executive directors, management and work force for their dedication and support over the past year, which resulted in the excellent financial performance.
Gold Recovery Operations
Goldplat Recovery (Pty) Ltd ('GRL') - South Africa
GRL is a mature business controlling the majority of available materials for processing in the sector in South Africa . During the year it performed strongly, producing 13,960 oz Au (2008: 15,239 oz Au).
Our business model relies on good relationships with the local mining houses - we buy their mining by-products and in turn provide them with an economic waste disposal solution which meets environmental obligations. To this end, during the year GRL won a number of new contracts across South Africa and strengthened relationships with existing clients which in-turn increased our stockpiles of raw materials for processing to 53,000 oz of contained gold. Additionally we have entered into a number of new agreements for product which I believe could see this trend continue.
We also increased milling capacity and installed additional flotation equipment in the flotation plant section which will enhance the flexibility and recovery of gold and platinum materials on site.
Following the sale of 15% of its issued shares during the year, GRL is fully compliant under South African BEE legislation, which we believe enhances our business connections within South Africa and improves our competitive position when tendering for processing contracts. By 1 May 2014 the percentage in the hands of Historically Disadvantaged South Africans will need to increase to 26%.
Gold Recovery Ghana Limited ('GRG') - Ghana
GRG has performed buoyantly with 7,108 oz Au (2008: 4,083 oz Au) produced during the year. GRG's strategic location gives it access to the major mining houses across West Africa . However, there are plenty of opportunities closer to home in Ghana , where GRG has identified and evaluated a significant number of surface stockpiles of gold bearing material with high gold grades. GRG has purchased a number of these stockpiles and will continue to procure further material based on evaluation results. Furthermore, GRG has signed agreements with suppliers, to recover gold from carbon fines located at properties in Ghana . These raw materials will add to GRG's total current stockpiles of 35,000 oz of contained gold, which equates to several years of current production capability.
As part of GRG's optimisation programme, a new fluidised bed carbon incinerator was installed in July 2009, which will be used to burn fine carbon as part of the gold recovery process and is expected to be commissioned shortly. This has increased GRG's processing capabilities which in-turn will have a positive impact on total ounces of gold produced and a reduction of the cost per unit from the recovery plant.
Kilimapesa Gold - Kenya
Kilimapesa Gold's project is situated in south-western Kenya within the historically producing Migori Archaean Greenstone Belt. Goldplat first became involved in the Kilimapesa Hill gold mining project in June 2007 and since then it has been developing the gold mine with a view to turning it into a small, high grade, formal mining operation. As mentioned in the Chairman's Statement, we are close to completing the acquisition of the remaining 50% of Kilimapesa Gold, which will see Goldplat wholly owning the project.
During the year we refurbished the Kilimapesa Hill gold mining project's plant at a cost of £120,000, which included the installation of a new mill motor, crushing unit, the addition of a gravity circuit and thickener, an upgrade to the leach section, a new pumping reticulation circuit, replacement of the electrical recirculation circuit, a complete refurbishment of the assay laboratory, and a general upgrade to the safety aspects.
A further £165,000 was expended on underground development and the equipping of 458 metres of on reef development and 101 metres of raise development and associated plant and equipment. This also included the cost of the infrastructure to connect to the national grid to secure reliable power supply which is expected to be running shortly.
In terms of exploration and development, a programme was undertaken to define a JORC compliant resource to clarify the project's economic potential. Initial results have been encouraging and a JORC compliant resource will be announced to the market in tandem with an underground mine development programme once the mining licence from the Kenyan authorities is granted.
Two new veins, the Mid Vein and the North Vein, were intersected on Kilimapesa Hill in addition to the existing South Vein, which are all robust in nature. The Mid Vein displayed visible gold and indicated thicknesses of up to 100 centimetres. The North Vein is expected to be the most continuous of the three veins, evidenced by the continuity of the corresponding artisanal workings on surface. These workings can be traced over a strike length of over 500 metres.
Additionally, the opening up of an adit 150 metres east of Adit B has enhanced the understanding of the mine's geological model. This adit has over 150 metres of existing development, all of which was chip sampled in February 2009. We are also hopeful that a new adit 60 metres below Adit B can be developed, having received results from a five-hole diamond drilling programme. Find the results of the drilling programme at Adit B here.
Goldplat is also continuing to develop its further four exploration targets, Olepoipoi, Meghor, Teng Teng and Red Ray, as well as investigating other known high-grade areas with surface mining potential in order to increase the life of mine.
Chief Executive Officer
This announcement has been reviewed by Mr. Mark Austin, the group geologist for Goldplat who has more than 25 years' relevant experience in the field of activity concerned. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa ('GSSA') and has consented to the inclusion of the material in the form and context in which it appears.
Find the financial results here.
For further information visit www.goldplat.com or contact:
Demetri Manolis, CEO Goldplat plc, Tel: +27 11 423 1203, Mob: +27 82 454 7392
James Joyce WH Ireland Limited, Tel: +44 (0)20 7220 1666
Bill Sharp / David Scott Alexander David Securities Limited, Tel: +44 (0)20 7448 9820
Felicity Edwards / Hugo de Salis St Brides Media & Finance Ltd, Tel: +44 (0)20 7236 1177
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