Goldplat plc, the AIM listed gold producer, is pleased to announce its preliminary results for the year ended 30 June 2010.
•Strong growth in operating profits - £2,059,000 (2009: £1,824,000)
•Profit before tax - £1,943,000
•Cash in the bank of £1,018,000
•South African and Ghanaian gold recovery plants continuing to perform strongly - production totalled 21,461 ounces ('oz') of gold ('Au') (2009: 21,068 oz Au)
•Expanded into Burkina Faso in West Africa - acquired an option over the 246 sq km Nyieme project which includes known high-grade quartz vein structures
•Nyieme development plan in place to define a JORC compliant resource by the end of 2010 to clarify its economic potential
•Continuing to develop the Kilimapesa gold project in Kenya towards commercial gold production - mining lease expected to be granted imminently
•Evaluating opportunities to expand Goldplat's gold recovery and mining portfolio
•Looking to acquire further mining projects with deposits of between 200,000 and 1,000,000 oz Au with a short lead time to production throughout Africa
•Actively exploring by-products gold recovery opportunities in Burkina Faso
It gives me great pleasure to report on Goldplat's progress during the past year as we consolidate our position as the market leader in gold recovery from by-products of the mining process in Africa, and work towards our objective of becoming a junior gold miner in Africa. During the period under review, our two gold recovery businesses in South Africa and Ghana have performed strongly. Development of Kilimapesa Gold (Pty) Ltd. ('Kilimapesa'), our Kenyan gold mining operation to commercial production, has been slowed by delays in the issue of the Mining Licence. However, the issue of the licence has been progressed since the end of the financial year and as announced on 23 August 2010 the Commissioner of Mines has approved the commercial production of gold pending finalisation of the issue of the mining licence. Furthermore we have expanded our mining activities into Burkina Faso in West Africa, one of the world's fastest growth regions for gold production, via the acquisition of an option over the Nyieme gold project ('Nyieme') from Sanu Exploration (BVI) Limited ('Sanu'), a wholly owned subsidiary of NGEX Resources Inc.
A strong growth in operating profit from £1,824,000 to £2,059,000 (an increase of 13%) is the main feature of the results for the year. This was achieved after a charge for share based payments relating to share options issued previously of £237,000 (2009: £134,000). A final charge of £103,000 in respect of these options will be made in 2011, assuming all options vest. Despite the increase in both operating profit and production expressed in ounces of gold, reported turnover reduced from £11.1 million in 2009 to £10.7 million. This reduction is caused largely by different arrangements with suppliers of raw materials for processing at our two gold recovery operations, where some suppliers of high grade materials are credited with part of the gold sold thus reducing reported turnover.
A reduction in the profit before tax from £2,405,000 to £1,943,000 is the result of a number of factors. After adjusting for these the "Normalised" profit for the year has increased by 14% from £2,007,000 to £2,284,000 as follows:
Cash at bank has reduced from £2,198,000 to £1,018,000 as a result of investment in new mining assets at Kilimapesa and Nyieme, in accordance with Goldplat's growth strategy of moving into gold mining. We have also heavily invested in increasing our stocks of gold bearing raw materials and further plant improvements at our gold recovery businesses in South Africa and Ghana , to further strengthen our dominant market position in this business segment.
No dividend is proposed as the profits will be retained for further expansion of our operations and to accelerate our growth strategy.
Gold production at our two gold recovery operations continued to perform strongly and in line with management expectations. Total production for the year increased slightly to 21,461 oz Au (2009: 21,068 oz Au), comprising 17,263 oz Au in South Africa and 4,198 oz Au in Ghana . In terms of stockpiles, we have 34,000 oz of contained gold in stockpiles at our South African plant and 20,900 oz of contained gold in stockpiles in Ghana .
Additionally we have continued to implement initiatives to optimise both the South African and Ghanaian gold recovery plants' production capabilities.
In South Africa , an intensive cyanidation plant, which improves gold recovery rates, has now been commissioned and it is expected to provide cost savings and improve the cash flow of the operation. In Ghana , equipment required to establish a fire assay laboratory at Tema, which will allow for the more efficient evaluation and purchasing of stocks, has been received from South Africa and is expected to be operational in October 2010. Furthermore we are near to completing a wash bay to increase the feed rate of raw materials to the existing gold plant to increase gold production.
At current prices and average production costs in the region of £330 per oz Au (2009: £413 per oz Au) at our South African operations and £441 per oz Au (2009: £456 per oz Au) in Ghana , I believe the potential of our operations to generate significant cash flow is evident.
Mining still remains central to our vision for the future of Goldplat. As a first step, we are committed to developing Kilimapesa, which is located in the historically producing Migori Archaean Greenstone Belt in Kenya . It is our intention to develop Kilimapesa as 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. In terms of being issued our mining licence at Kilimapesa, as announced on 22 July 2010, 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. In addition, as announced on 23 August 2010, we also received approval from the Commissioner to commence commercial gold production from existing stockpiles. The full underground operations at Kilimapesa will resume once the cadastral survey submission with the Director of Survey is completed and the full Mining Licence issued.
In terms of exploration at Kilimapesa, in October 2009 we announced an initial JORC-compliant resource. The underground gold resource estimate totalled 1.65Mt at 2.44 g/t Au for 129,000 oz Au at a cut-off grade of 1 g/t Au for all categories. The Measured and Indicated resource totals 409,000t at 2.39 g/t Au for 31,416 oz Au plus an additional 1.24Mt at 2.43 g/t for 98,000 oz Au within the Inferred category. Management has compiled an exploration and development programme to increase the resource base and to be able to commence production at other sites in the area.
Additionally, in line with our strategy of building a mid-tier mining company focused in Africa, during 2010 we strengthened our position within the highly regarded West African region and acquired Sanu's option over the Nyieme in Burkina Faso . It is our intention to fast-track exploration of the project to prove its economic viability.
The 246 sq km Nyieme project includes known high-grade quartz vein structures, with historical drill core results showing up to 17.83 g/t gold over one metre and 11.67 g/t over five metres. Our management team is highly confident about the potential of the Nyieme Project in Burkina Faso and has therefore devised an extensive exploration programme to test both the existing high grade targets, as well as potential new areas of mineralisation. This consists of a phased exploration programme which includes a trenching programme over areas of geophysical and soil sampling anomalies which began in May 2010; and a 1,150m diamond drilling programme, over the area previously drilled by Sanu, which commenced in August 2010. The Company's budget for the phased resource development programme is US$240,000, and we hope to have defined a resource at Nyieme by the end of 2010. After this we will undertake further follow-up drilling based on results from Phases 1 and 2 to further define the economic potential of the project.
In terms of future expansion, we are actively looking at various small mining projects, which could be managed within our human resource base and would complement our existing portfolio of gold assets. We are targeting known deposits of between 200,000 and 1,000,000 contained ounces of gold in these areas. Additionally, with Burkina Faso recognised as a new gold producing district with strong growth potential, we are evaluating options of exploiting by-products produced by gold mines. We look forward to updating on these developments in due course.
These are exciting times for Goldplat as we continue to bolster our position as a gold producer in Africa . Gold production is continuing to perform strongly at both our South African and Ghanaian recovery plants and we remain committed to our vision of establishing ourselves within the junior mining arena in Africa . As a Board we are excited by our move into Burkina Faso and we are fast-tracking exploration to develop a JORC compliant resource with a view to production in the mid-term. Additionally, with commercial gold production underway from existing stockpiles at Kilimapesa, we look forward to commencing full gold production once the mining licence is secured and its contribution to our bottom line for the next financial year.
Profitability and cash generation remain central to our growth strategy; utilising revenues made from our recovery business to invest in junior mining projects. While we remain active in our hunt for gold mining projects, we recognise the overriding importance of bringing our two existing mining projects into profitable production as soon as possible.
With these developments in mind, I believe Goldplat has the foundations in place from which to deliver value to shareholders in 2011 and beyond. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Directors, management and our workforce for their dedication and support over the past year.
Gold Recovery Operations
Goldplat Recovery (Pty) Ltd ('GPR') - South Africa
Our South African gold recovery business, GPR, which is a mature business, is performing strongly and in line with management expectations.
Gold production for the year totalled 17,263 oz Au, with 6,369 oz Au being achieved in the first half of the year to six month ending 31 December 2009 and 10,894 oz Au in the second half of the financial year.
As we have reiterated in the past, GPR's business model relies on strong relationships with the local mining houses in South Africa as we buy their mining by-products to build our stockpiles from which to recover gold and in turn provide them with an economic waste disposal solution which meets environmental obligations.
In this vein, further progress has been made to secure new raw materials, and ensure the long-term supply of gold bearing feedstock for processing. To date we have 34,000 oz of raw material for processing currently held at our gold recovery plant. We are continuously looking to increase our stockpiles of these gold bearing raw materials, and as such keep a constant dialogue with the surrounding gold mining houses. To this end we have finalised a further contract with Simmer and Jack Mines Limited to purchase a total of 20,000 tonnes of gold bearing raw material from its Buffelsfontein operation in South Africa .
During the course of 2009 and 2010, to improve gold recovery rates, we implemented a number of new initiatives and new machinery to increase the plant's capacity and economic capabilities. To this end, we have commissioned a larger mill and increased its flotation capacity, and we also expanded the range of materials being processed and the techniques used. Additionally post period end we installed an intensive cyanidation plant to leach the gravity concentrates and load gold onto carbon for elution which should provide cost savings and improve the cash flow of the operation.
Gold Recovery Ghana ('GRG') - Ghana
GRG's gold recovery operations are strategically positioned in Ghana in the free port of Tema, where the Company enjoys a 10 year tax break until 2015. In addition to this, with it being located in Ghana , it is ideally located to access many of the major gold mining houses operating within the neighbouring countries in West Africa .
As with our South African recovery business, maintaining good relationships with the gold mining houses in Ghana and neighbouring countries is important. Our stockpiles of gold bearing raw materials purchased from the local mining businesses, to date, totals 20,900 oz Au.
In this vein, post period review, we have identified and evaluated a number of new surface stockpiles of gold bearing materials with suitable gold grades in the Konongo area in Ghana and we are currently in negotiations to purchase these.
In order to improve the economic efficiency and production capability of the Ghanaian recovery plant we have purchased a few key pieces of machinery. A new incinerator was commissioned during 2010 and has produced ash with grades exceeding 600 g/t gold from relatively low grade material.
Initiatives, such as the establishment of a wash bay, are also in place to increase the feed rate of raw materials to the existing gold plant to increase gold production. This is expected to be implemented by November 2010. Furthermore, equipment required to establish a fire assay laboratory at Tema has been received from South Africa and will be operational in by the end of October 2010. This will greatly improve the control of the gold plant and allow for faster evaluation and purchasing of tailings.
Kilimapesa - Kenya
Kilimapesa is situated in south-western Kenya within the historically producing Migori Archaean Greenstone Belt. In September 2009 we completed the purchase of the remaining 50% interest in Kilimapesa for US$2.7 million, from International Gold Exploration AB ('IGE'), through the Company's wholly owned subsidiary Gold Mineral Resources Limited. We now own 100% of Kilimapesa, which includes the operating gold mine and adjacent exploration assets located in the Lolgorien area of South Western Kenya.
During the year we have been actively developing Kilimapesa with the view to turning it into a small, high grade, formal mining operation. A strategic plan for expanding the operations at the mine has been completed. It is the Board's intention to increase gold production at the mine from the current capacity of 1,500 oz to an expected 5,000 oz of gold a year from 12 months after being issued the Mining Lease.
On 22 July 2010, we received the conditional approval of the Mining Lease for Kilimapesa from the Commissioner of Mines and Geology of Kenya. Following this, on 23 August 2010 the Commissioner has given his permission for Kilimapesa Gold's processing plant to commence commercial gold production, while we await the finalisation of the Mining Lease.
The underground operations at Kilimapesa will be kept in abeyance until the routine registration process of the cadastral survey submission with the Director of Survey is completed. However work on recommissioning the processing plant has already started and Goldplat's management expect that it will be at a full processing capacity of 1,000 tonnes of ore per month by November 2010. The existing stockpiles are expected to provide enough mill feed until full underground operations resume.
Additionally Kenya 's National Electricity Grid has now reached the mine, which will reduce operating costs as Kilimapesa will no longer be dependent on diesel generator power.
Kilimapesa - Exploration
In terms of exploration, in October last year we announced an initial JORC-compliant resource at Kilimapesa. The underground gold resource estimate totalled 1.65Mt at 2.44 g/t Au for 129,000 oz Au at a cut-off grade of 1 g/t Au for all categories.
The Measured and Indicated resource totals 409,000t at 2.39 g/t Au for 31,416 oz Au plus an additional 1.24Mt at 2.43 g/t for 98,000 oz Au within the Inferred category. In addition, colonial tailings in the immediate vicinity of the plant have a combined Measured and Indicated JORC compliant Resource of 41,000t at 2.56 g/t Au for 3,400 oz Au.
This initial Measured and Indicated resource is expected to provide the plant with sufficient ore to run its Kilimapesa operations in-excess of eight years taking into account its current capacity.
Resources by category at a cut-off value of 1 g/t Au are shown in the following table:
The determination of the resource classification is as follows:
- Measured - Resources estimated using a very restricted search ellipsoid size of 10m in the principal direction
- Indicated - Resources estimated using a search ellipsoid of equivalent to the second modelled variographic range of 90m in the principal direction
- Inferred - Resources estimated using a search ellipsoid twice the size of the second modelled variographic range, 180m in the principal direction including any resources estimated outside the modelled veins
The tailings derived from colonial operations in the mid-1900s. These tailings have subsequently undergone auger drill sampling, in order for a JORC compliant mineral resource to be calculated. The combined Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources totalled 51,600 tonnes at 2.52g/t Au, the majority of which lie within 200m of the existing plant infrastructure. Initial gravity and carbon-in-leach metallurgical test-work demonstrate recoveries in excess of 65%, and on the ore derived from the quartz vein ore bodies in excess of 85%.
Total resources by category are shown below:
There will be a continued emphasis on expanding the exposure of the ore body by underground development. In addition there are several other areas which indicate potential gold mineralisation over which exploration will be done.
In December 2009, we entered into an agreement with Sanu to purchase its option over the 246 sq km Nyieme Gold Project located in Burkina Faso . It is our intention to define a JORC compliant resource and prove up the economic viability of the Nyieme within this current year.
In 2007 Sanu conducted a 2,015m 26 hole reverse circulation drilling programme of which best intersections included 3m @ 17.48 g/t Au, 1m @ 16.76 g/t Au, 1m @ 4.46 g/t Au and 1m @17.83 g/t Au. A summary of the results are shown in Table 1.
In order to fast-track the development of Nyieme, during the period under review we implemented an exploration and development plan based on the previous exploration work completed by Sanu. We have drawn a phased exploration programme which consists of a trenching programme over areas of geophysical and soil sampling anomalies; and a 1,150m diamond drilling programme over the area previously drilled by Sanu. We hope to have defined a maiden resource at Nyieme once these results have been verified. After this we will undertake further follow-up diamond drilling based on results from Phases 1 and 2 to further define the economic potential of the project.
The trenching programme, over the geophysical and geochemical anomalies which extend to the south along the same trend as the veins drilled in the Nyieme prospect, commenced in May 2010. Heavy seasonal rains have halted progress which will resume when the rains abate. To date 450m of trenching has been completed.
The 1,150m diamond drilling programme over the area previously drilled by Sanu will consist of 11 holes. The programme started on the 16 August 2010 and we expect to have results in October 2010. To date logging of the completed boreholes show that the vein is continuing at depth.
Chief Executive Officer
Detailed Financial Results can be viewed here..
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|
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...