25/09/2008 - 11:16

CopperCo announces full year profit

25/09/2008 - 11:16


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Perth-based CopperCo Ltd has announced their first full year profits, with revenue topping $81m and a net profit after tax of more than $5m

Perth-based CopperCo Ltd has announced their first full year profits, with revenue topping $81m and a net profit after tax of more than $5m

The company garnered these results thanks to extensive copper production from its flagship Lady Annie mine in Queensland.

CopperCo is currently in the final stages of a friendly merger with Mineral Securities helping transform the organisation into diversified global resource company.


Below is the full annoucement:

Sales revenue of $81.8 million
EBITDA of $39.3 million
Maiden profit before tax of $11.5 million
Net profit after tax of $5.2 million
Successful conclusion of offer for Mineral Securities
Expansion project to process capacity of 30,000 tpa completed on time and on
Outstanding exploration results: total copper resources now stand at 40.5 Mt at
0.8% for 350,200 contained copper tonnes, up 22% on last year


Financial overview:

Diversified global resource company CopperCo Limited ("CopperCo") today released its financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2008.

The company generated net profit before tax of $11.52 million earned on total revenue of $81.8 million, reflecting CopperCo's transition from developer to producer during the year.

The company recorded its maiden profit, earning net profit after tax of $5.2 million and generated Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) of $39.3 million representing a 48% margin on revenue.

Earnings before Interest and Tax (EBIT) amounted to $27.4 million, a robust 33.5% margin on revenue. No tax is payable as the company has carried forward tax losses.

Commenting, the Managing Director of CopperCo, Mr Brian Rear, said: "I am delighted to report the company's maiden profit result capping a year of significant achievement for CopperCo having successfully established the Lady Annie copper operations during the period, and as of today we are wrapping up the final work relating to the expansion project to 30,000 tonnes per year.

"We are in the final stages of completing our merger with Mineral Securities which has transformed CopperCo into a diversified global resource company and positioned the company well to navigate the turbulent financial markets of recent times," he said.

Keith Liddell, CopperCo Chairman said: "In Lady Annie we have a strong cash flow profile with high margins which will underpin the company's future as we move into the 'harvesting' phase of the project following a period of significant capital investment to develop, build and then immediately expand the operation.

"The outlook for the company's core commodities is favourable with world copper supply and demand fundamentals remaining supportive of prices at current levels in the short to medium term. Similarly the macro-economic fundamentals for the platinum market are favourable, underpinned by continuing strong demand from China and other developed countries. In particular it is envisaged that emerging constraints at the supply end driven by increasing pressure from governments on safety concerns at many of the world's older platinum mines will have a positive impact on the price," he said.


Copper produced from the Lady Annie Project during the year totalled 11,082 tonnes, reflecting the start of copper production in October 2007.

Ore crushed and stacked totalled 2,006,052 tonnes at a grade of 0.96% Cu. 11,074 tonnes of copper was sold for the year, with net revenue of A$81.79 million after accounting for hedge contracts.

As of 30 June 2008 the estimated inventory of recoverable copper contained within the heap leach was 6,049 tonnes, representing a gross value of approximately A$48 million (at A$8000/tonne spot copper price).

This inventory is expected to increase further in the run up to the 30,000 tpa level in mid 2009.

Unit cash costs (C1) for the year including mining, processing, inventory movements and site administration excluding selling expenses were US$1.08/lb at an exchange rate of A$ to $US of 0.8965. Unit cash costs (C1) remain well contained in this current year at similar levels to the average for FY08 averaging US$1.04/lb for July and August.


Exploration has delivered an outstanding result during the year with a further 64,000 tonnes of contained copper added to the official Mineral Resource Estimate, the benefit of which has been incorporated into the mining plan for the Project. The discovery cost of this copper amounted to US$0.06/lb. During the year the exploration team effectively replaced the Ore Reserve that was mined thus maintaining the life of operation on a forward basis contained in the business plan.

An aggressive $12 million exploration programme and budget was undertaken during the 2007-2008 field season, with a global objective of developing a total mineral resource base of at least 60 million tonnes at a nominal average grade of 1% Cu in the next few years. The driver is to establish sufficient copper resources, both copper oxides and copper sulphides to warrant copper production above an annual rate of 30,000 tonnes contained copper. The company is confident that the geological potential exists on its properties to achieve this objective in the medium term. The main exploration focus during the year has been on the new copper oxide resource development at the Lady Brenda prospect located 300 metres to the southwest of the Lady Annie ore body where a resource of 29,300 tonnes of contained copper has been defined.

In addition to the copper oxide resource development, drilling to define the resource base for the sulphide mineralised zones beneath the Lady Annie and Flying Horse oxide ore bodies, has continued in earnest. Total sulphide resources include 12.7Mt at 0.9% containing 111,400 tonnes of contained copper metal. Development and
processing options for sulphide ores are being evaluated, and potential for significant sulphide resource addition is already evident at the Flying Horse and Lady Annie East Prospects. The Company will target sulphide copper resources and reserves capable of supporting a 20,000 tonne per annum, 10-year mine life, copper in concentrate

Total oxide and sulphide copper resources now stand at 40.5Mt at 0.8% for 350,200 contained copper tonnes, up 22% on last year's results. Mineral Securities Merger In Late January 2008 the Company announced a decision to merge with Mineral Securities Limited. The Independent Committee of directors charged with the decision and conduct of the merger believed that significant advantages would accrue to CopperCo through diversification of commodity exposure, strengthened balance sheet, lower gearing and greater relevance in the equity markets.
The merger is currently in the final stages of completion with CopperCo having gained approximately 94.70% of the Mineral Securities shares on issue. CopperCo is now in the process of compulsorily redeeming the remaining Mineral Securities shares on issue. Set against the turmoil in financial markets that has endured for that same period the decision to merge reinforces and validates the key drivers of lowering gearing, building balance sheet strength, diversification and establishing a greater equity market presence for the company going forward.


World copper supply and demand fundamentals remain supportive of prices at current levels in the short to medium term. The global copper industry continues to remain subject to declining grades, equipment availability, and power and water supply constraints among other things. Combined with the lack of large discoveries this mitigates against large increases in supply for the future.

Despite a general slowing in world growth rising capital and operating cost pressures remain strongly evident throughout the mining industry and these pressures are expected to continue into the current year. Cash operating costs are well contained at Lady Annie, and with the expansion completed the operational objectives for the coming year are to steadily ramp up to the 30,000 tonnes per annum rate and to move the operation from growth in output to efficiency gain and maximisation of cash flow.


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