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Katanga Mining announces 2013 year end operational highlights, and outlook

ZUG, Switzerland, Feb. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Katanga Mining Limited (TSX: KAT) ("Katanga" or the "Company") today announces 2013 year end production results.

Highlights during the year ended December 31, 2013, and Outlook

Mining

  • During 2013, the Company mined a record 6,243,163 tonnes of ore, a 13% increase over 2012, at a grade of 4.07% resulting in contained copper in ore mined of 254,070 tonnes, an 11% increase over 2012.
  • Ore mined at KOV Open Pit during 2013 was a record 4,394,098 tonnes, a 19% increase over 2012.  The average copper grade of ore mined from KOV Open Pit during 2013 was 4.37%, resulting in contained copper in ore mined of 191,887 tonnes, an 18% increase over 2012.
  • Waste mined at KOV Open Pit during 2013 was a record 31,644,013 tonnes, a 50% increase over 2012.
  • Ore mined at KTO Underground Mine during 2013 was 1,741,298 tonnes, a 5% decrease over 2012.  The average copper grade of ore mined from KTO Underground Mine during 2013 was 3.36%, resulting in contained copper in ore mined of 58,431 tonnes, a 12% decrease over 2012.  Lower mined volumes and grades are a result of near-term chamber availability issues.  Management expects mined volumes and grades to improve in 2014 due to the increased backfill tonnes achieved in 2013 and the acceleration of primary and secondary development.
  • Dewatering of T17 Open Pit was completed during 2013 and mining of T17 Open Pit Cut 3 and 4 recommenced.  81,011 tonnes of waste and 107,768 tonnes of ore were mined.  An average copper grade of 3.48% and an average cobalt grade of 0.72% were achieved. This will facilitate the start of infrastructure works related to the potential T17 underground mine.
  • In 2013, the Company commissioned:
    • Five new Caterpillar 793 trucks (240 tonnes load capacity);
    • Eight new Caterpillar 777 trucks (100 tonnes load capacity) improving operating costs as these trucks haul direct to the crusher, reducing handling and contractor costs;
    • Two large diesel Caterpillar shovels (30 tonnes and 60 tonnes bucket capacity);
    • The Company's third RH340 shovel (60 tonnes bucket capacity); and
    • Two 2MW generators dedicated to support the electric RH340 shovel and KOV dewatering activities reducing the dependence on grid power supply for KOV Open Pit mining activities.

Processing

  • Ore milled at KTC during 2013 was a record 5,600,716 tonnes, a 21% increase over 2012.
  • Copper produced for 2013 totalled a record 136,192 tonnes, a 47% increase over 2012.
  • Cobalt produced totalled 2,297 tonnes for 2013, an 8% increase over 2012.
  • At the end of December 2013 Katanga had installed annualised production capacity of 200,000 tonnes per annum ("tpa")

Projects

            The Updated Phase 4 Expansion Project commissioning highlights for 2013 include:

  • Trains two and three of the Solvent Extraction ("SX") plant increasing SX plant capacity to 200,000 tpa of copper transfer;
  • The converted electro-winning ("EW") facility with all sections brought into operation increasing the new tankhouse capacity to 200,000 tpa of copper cathode;
  • The new sulphide concentrate receiving section, floatation circuit, and the oxide receiving, leaching and CCD facilities at Luilu; and
  • Total expected project cost remains $769 million as previously announced.
  • The feasibility study for extending the T17 Open Pit mine into an underground mining operation was completed during 2013.  Management is continuing to advance the project with a view to making a decision to proceed to production.

Outlook

  • Construction has commenced on Phase 5, which includes EW3 (2 x 30,000 tpa capacity EW tankhouse units) and CM5 (mill of 11,700 tonnes per day nameplate capacity), and is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2014.

This press release was prepared under the supervision of Tim Henderson, Technical Consultant, Katanga and a "qualified person" as such term is defined in NI 43-101. Mr. Henderson has reviewed and approved the contents of this press release.

About Katanga Mining Limited
Katanga Mining Limited operates a major mine complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo producing refined copper and cobalt. The Company has the potential to become Africa's largest copper producer and the world's largest cobalt producer. Katanga is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol KAT.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the increase in mined volumes and grades of copper and cobalt , the potential for an underground mine at T17 Open Pit and the completion of the Phase 5 project. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or describes a "goal", or variation of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.

All forward-looking statements reflect the Company's beliefs and assumptions based on information available at the time the statements were made. Actual results or events may differ from those predicted in these forward-looking statements. All of the Company's forward-looking statements are qualified by the assumptions that are stated or inherent in such forward-looking statements, including the assumptions listed below. Although the Company believes that these assumptions are reasonable, this list is not exhaustive of factors that may affect any of the forward-looking statements. The key assumptions that have been made in connection with the forward-looking statements include: there being no significant disruptions affecting the operations of the Company whether due to labour disruptions, supply disruptions, power disruptions, damage to equipment or otherwise; permitting and development, being consistent with the Company's current expectations; continued recognition of the Company's mining concessions and other assets, rights, titles and interests in the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC"); political and legal developments in the DRC being consistent with its current expectations; the continued provision or procurement of additional funding from Glencore Xstrata for the completion of the Phase 5 Project; prices for diesel, natural gas, fuel oil, electricity and other key supplies being approximately consistent with current levels; labour and material costs increasing on a basis consistent with the Company's current expectations; the increased backfill tonnes and the acceleration of primary and secondary development will provide access to higher grade zones at KTO Underground Mine, the successful resolution of the near-term underground chamber availability issues and all necessary equipment and parts will be delivered and installed on schedule for Phase 5.

Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, future events, conditions, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, prediction, projection, forecast, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the actual results of current exploration activities; actual results and interpretation of current reclamation activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of copper and cobalt; possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of exploration, development or construction activities, delays due to strikes or other work stoppage, both internal and external to the Company, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's current annual information form and other publicly filed documents. Although Katanga has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

 

SOURCE Katanga Mining Limited

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