Goldplat plc, the AIM listed gold producer, is pleased to announce its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2010.
- Progressed portfolio of gold production and advanced exploration assets in Africa
- Defined maiden resource at Nyieme gold exploration project in Burkina Faso of 685,000 tonnes at 2.61 g/t Au for 57,000 oz Au - 2011 exploration programme underway to expand resource
- Signed MOA to acquire Banka Gold Project located in premier gold district in Ghana - historic data highlights gold prospectivity
- Granted permission in February 2011 to commence operations at Kilimpaesa Gold mine, Kenya
- Increased production at South African and Ghanaian gold recovery plants to 13,910oz (2009: 8,309oz )
- Investigating establishing gold recovery bases in Tanzania , Burkina Faso and Mali to collect by-products to process at South African and Ghanaian gold recovery plants
- Exploring opportunities to acquire new projects and expand asset base to become a mid-tier mining company in Africa
Operating profits increased 17.13% to £1.44 million (2009: £1.22 million)
Profit before tax of £1.36 million (2009: £1.15 million)
£5.5 million fundraising completed (£5.2 million after expenses) to develop Nyieme and Banka Gold Project
Healthy cash position - over £6.4 million
Goldplat CEO Demetri Manolis said, "Whilst our two gold recovery operations in South Africa and Ghana continue to perform solidly and generate increasing revenues, exploration remains central to our growth strategy as we look to become a mid tier gold producer. In line with this, an exploration programme at the Nyieme gold project in Burkina Faso is yielding highly encouraging results and we were pleased to announce a maiden JORC compliant resource of 685,000 tonnes at 2.61 g/t gold for 57,501 oz gold at a cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t gold for all categories. The maiden resource has been calculated over an initial 2 km of a potential 8 km strike, and we believe there is significant scope for expanding this resource from further targets within the project area. We are also excited about our newly signed Banka Gold Project, located in the premier gold Ashanti region of Ghana , which we are looking to develop to delineate a maiden JORC resource once the acquisition has been completed.
"Meanwhile, developments at our Kilimapesa gold mine in Kenya are highly encouraging. We have been granted permission by the Kenyan government to commence operations and we remain confident that the mining licence allowing us to make commercial gold sales is close to finalisation. With a healthy cash position of £6.4 million, Goldplat is in a strong position to explore further opportunities and acquire new gold projects to expand its asset base. With these developments in mind, I believe 2011 will be a period of growth for the Company."
For further information visit www.goldplat.com or contact:
|Demetri Manolis, CEO||Goldplat plc||Tel: +27 (0) 11 423 1203|
|James Joyce||WH Ireland Limited||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 1666|
|David Porter||WH Ireland Limited||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 1666|
|Bill Sharp||Alexander David Securities Ltd||Tel: +44 (0)20 7448 9820|
|David Scott||Alexander David Securities Ltd||Tel: +44 (0)20 7448 9820|
|Felicity Edwards||St Brides Media & Finance Ltd||Tel: +44 (0)20 7236 1177|
|Isabel Crossley||St Brides Media & Finance Ltd||Tel: +44 (0)20 7236 1177|
This has been an exciting period for Goldplat, during which we have advanced our portfolio of gold exploration assets towards production and increased gold production from our mature gold recovery operations in South Africa and Ghana . We also strengthened our cash position, completing a £5.5 million placing (£5.2 million after expenses) at the end of December 2010, which will be used to advance our exploration assets and acquire new projects to build Goldplat into mid-tier gold mining company in Africa .
Our gold recovery operations continue to perform strongly having produced 13,910 ounces ('oz') of gold ('Au') during the period, however, we believe that we can add most value to shareholders by advancing projects through the development cycle and into production. In this vein, we have advanced the 246 sq km Nyieme gold project in Burkina Faso ('Nyieme') and were pleased to announce a maiden JORC-compliant resource in December 2010. We also signed a Memorandum of Agreement ('MOA') with Gulf Coast Resources Inc ('Gulf') to acquire a 90% interest in the 29 sq km Banka Gold Mining Lease located in the prospective Ashanti gold region in Ghana.; the development of this project will be a major focus for the Company throughout 2011.
Post period end, we were delighted to announce that we received permission to commence mining operations from the Government of Kenya at our Kenyan gold mining operation, Kilimapesa mine ('Kilimapesa Gold'), located in the potentially gold-rich Migori Archaean Greenstone Belt. It is our intention to develop Kilimapesa Gold into a small profitable gold mine with an initial target of producing approximately 5,000 oz Au per annum within 12 months of being granted our mining licence, which in this favourable gold price environment will positively impact Goldplat's bottom line.
In terms of financial results, the operating profit at £1.44 million was the highest achieved by the Group for any six month period, and the tax free status currently enjoyed in Ghana helped post tax profits to increase to £1.14 million.
Burkina Faso - Nyieme
Our exploration and development programme at Nyieme has been progressing well as we seek to prove up its economic viability and production potential. In September 2010 we concluded an 11 hole diamond drilling programme over a high gold grade area previously identified by a reverse circulation ('RC') programme completed by the previous owners Sanu Exploration ('BVI') Limited ('Sanu') in 2008. Results received were highly encouraging, five holes return gold grades in excess of 4 g/t, the highest value being 19.1 g/t over a width of 116cm. Following this, in December 2010 we announced a maiden JORC compliant resource from Nyieme's first target totaling 685,000 tonnes at 2.61 g/t Au for 57,501 oz Au at a cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t Au for all categories. The total estimated resource includes an Indicated mineral resource of 225,000 tonnes at 2.98 g/t Au for 21,557 oz Au and an additional 460,000 tonnes at 2.43 g/t Au for 35,937 oz Au within the Inferred category.
The resource has been calculated over an initial 2 km of a potential 8 km strike and it is the Company's intention to continue exploration work to delineate a significant resource upgrade in 2011. Based on the results from the 2010 drilling campaign, we have developed a geological model which aims to identify similar deposits as that delineated in the maiden resource. To this end, a further 11 areas of interest at Nyieme were identified and an exploration campaign to test them commenced in January 2011. These target areas are located over areas containing soil anomalies and geophysical anomalies identified during Sanu's initial exploration programme. In addition, several areas of artisanal activity have been found on the property which will be evaluated to test prospectivity and gold resource potential. The current exploration programme is on track to be completed by the end of April 2011 and includes soil sampling, trenching, and a 2,500 metre RC drilling programme. Follow-up diamond drilling will be conducted over areas of potential that may be identified during the current exploration programme.
Ghana - Banka Gold Project
In November we signed a MOA with Gulf, a Canadian mining company, to acquire a 90% interest in the Banka Mining Lease, a ten year renewable mining lease for gold and associated minerals covering an area of 29 sq km located in the highly prospective Amansie East and Asante Akim South Districts of the Ashanti Region of the Republic of Ghana ('Banka Gold Project').
Goldplat has paid Gulf US$50,000 and is currently completing a due diligence review of the Banka Gold Project. Subject to due diligence and completion of the acquisition, Goldplat will pay US$1,500,000 to Gulf to receive a 1.5 % Net Smelter Return on all gold production from the Banka Gold Project. The Company will pay US$1,000,000 on the completion of due diligence and the renewed Banka Mining Lease, and a final US$500,000 on the first anniversary.
We believe the Banka Gold Project represents a substantial gold prospect in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, a prime district for gold project development. The lease is underlain by Tarkwaian sediments dipping approximately 60° to the east. Several bands of conglomerate, separated by greywackes and arenites, are present on the property and exhibit impressive strike continuity. The detailed geology shows that the conglomerates outcrop on surface and can be traced continually over 4 km.
Early work indicates the prospectivity of the Banka Gold Project. 4,400 metres of RC drilling and 5,325 metres of diamond drilling plus 325 metres of underground chip sampling have been completed by previous owners. Previous drill results include intersections of 12 metres at 29.42 g/t Au and 9 metres at 57.7 g/t Au. A non-JORC compliant mineral resource statement calculated from previous exploration programmes calculated to 100 metres below surface totals 2,189,400 tonnes at 2.95 g/t Au for 207,341 oz Au. We have a defined development plan in place aimed at proving up the economic viability of the project and publishing a JORC compliant resource which will begin once all conditions for the acquisition have been met.
Kenya - Kilimapesa Gold Ltd
In line with strengthening our gold production capabilities, we remain committed to developing Kilimapesa Gold into a small profitable producing gold mine, with an initial target of producing approximately 5,000 oz Au per annum within 12 months of being granted its mining licence. Post period end in February 2011, we were therefore delighted to announce that that the Government of Kenya had granted permission for Goldplat to commence operations at the mine. We have registered a Mining Location over the current mining area with the Department of Mines and Geology to allow operations to continue for a period of one year renewable. The Mining Location has been submitted to ensure operations continue whilst the Company waits the pending approval of a full Mining Lease. We have received communication from the Commissioner of Mines and Geology that Kilimapesa Gold has complied with all requirements for the issuing of the licence, and arrangements for subdivision for the title deeds and submitting plans to the director of survey, the last outstanding matter, are nearing completion.
We are now implementing plans to increase the mine's production capability, including extending the on-reef underground strike development at the Kilimapesa Hill target to create sufficient ore reserves to sustain increased production and developing a new adit, 60 metres vertically below the existing adit. Additionally, an exploration programme over known targets in the immediate vicinity of the current mining activities is due to commence this month (March 2011). These targets have been defined by surface geological mapping and geophysical surveys and display some working by colonial miners in the early part of the 1900s. With this in mind, the Company continues to utilise its close relationship with the artisanal miners who can act as pathfinders to high grade near-surface deposits in the area.
We have also ordered the fabrication of an elution and electro-winning plant and carbon regeneration kiln, which will allow Kilimapesa Gold to produce gold bullion and reuse the carbon, rather than being limited to the expensive process of exporting concentrates to South Africa . Furthermore the mine is now connected to grid power, which significantly reduces the dependence on expensive diesel generators and will reduce the operating costs of the mine. We anticipate that these actions will have a positive impact on the mine's operating costs.
South Africa and Ghana - Gold Recovery Businesses
Our two gold recovery plants in South Africa and Ghana are generating healthy revenues for the Company. For the six months to 31 December 2010 our recovery operation in South Africa , Goldplat Recovery (Pty) Ltd ('Goldplat Recovery'), produced 9,712 oz Au (2009: 6,369 oz Au). Our Ghanaian gold recovery plant, Gold Recovery Ghana Limited ('GRG'), produced 4,045 oz Au which again is a significant increase to the level of gold produced at the plant during the previous comparable period (2009: 1,940 oz Au). Both plants continue to generate significant cash flow.
Whilst we are the market leaders in Africa for precious metal recovery from by-products , we continue to implement initiatives to optimise both our gold recovery plants' production capabilities.
At our South African gold recovery investigations are underway to increase the milling capacity, which in turn would increase the plant's gold production capabilities. Additionally, further progress has been made to secure new gold bearing raw materials from surrounding gold mining companies to ensure the long-term supply of gold bearing feedstock for processing. Negotiations are well advanced with Simmer and Jack to secure another substantial stockpile of gold bearing material from its Buffelfontein operation in South Africa and further stockpiles have been identified at the Anglogold Ashanti West Wits operations, which Goldplat hopes to acquire in H1 2011. Goldplat Recovery's current stockpiles total 32,850 oz of contained gold.
Goldplat Recovery is investigating the possibility of establishing a base in Tanzania to collect gold bearing by products from the Tanzanian gold mining industry for processing in South Africa . Tanzania is the fourth largest gold producer in Africa and we believe that by establishing a base within the country we would increase the Goldplat Recovery's stockpiles of raw materials to process, while enabling the Company to decide whether it is economic to establish a gold recovery operation in that country. Goldplat Recovery has also initiated studies into potentially processing precious metal contained in electronic scrap in conjunction with its strategic partner Rand Refinery.
In Ghana , GRG's toll treatment agreement with Golden Star's Wassa operation, announced in September 2010, is operating successfully and is expected to produce an additional 3,000 oz Au in FY 2011. Transportation of the materials built up over the period since the agreement was signed and as trucking facilities became available was transported to GRG, and as a result, the bulk of this production from the toll treatment will fall in the second half of the financial year. Following this success, negotiations are advanced with a second independent mining company in Ghana to undertake another toll treatment contract, which if secured could double the potential profits for GRG from toll treatments.
GRG is also investigating the possibility of establishing bases in Burkina Faso and Mali to collect gold bearing by-products from gold mining companies countries for export to GRG and processing at the Tema plant in Ghana .
GRG will continue to enjoy the benefits of tax free status until 2016, and will only be liable for tax at 10% after that date.
In December 2010 we undertook a placing and raised £5.5 million (£5.2 million after expenses) in order to accelerate the d e v elopment our exploration assets, Nyieme an d, subject to completion of the acquisition, Banka Gold Project, t o w ards establishing JORC standard resources and funding their subsequent feasibility studies. Additionally, we are actively looking to acquire further gold mining assets with the view of expanding our asset base from which to grow the Company. Our cash position at the period end was £6.4 million.
The financial results show another strong trading period. The operating profit increased by 17.13% from the same period last year to £1.44 million (2009: £1.23 million) and is the highest six month operating profit achieved by the Group to date. This was achieved despite the strength of the Rand , the currency applicable to the majority of costs. Profit before tax ('PBT') for the period under review totalled £1.36 million, which again is a significant increase from PBT for the comparable period (2009: £1.15 million). After tax the increase in profits to £1.14 million is even more significant (2009: £0.76 million). The increase is largely due to profits being earned in Ghana , where the Group currently enjoys a tax free status.
I believe FY2011 will continue to be a fruitful year for the Company . W ith our gold recovery operations performing strongly, boosted by the Wassa toll treatment agreement, we can now focus on the exploration and development of Nyieme, Banka and Kilimapesa Gold, which are central to our mid-term strategy aimed at increasing our gold production profile. I believe that with this solid asset base, healthy cash position and revenues from gold recovery we have the foundations in place from which to grow the Company both organically and through acquisition, which will in turn further strengthen our already strong investment case.
I look forward to regularly updating shareholders on our progress and thank them for their continued support.
View group statement of comprehensive income < here >
Goldplat is a profitable, African gold recovery services company . . .More info...
Goldplat has two profitable gold recovery businesses in South Africa and Ghana . . .More info...
To subscribe to Goldplat's news release list please click here . . .More Info...