Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation PLC Frontier Licence to be granted for US$101.5 million
Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation PLC ('ENRC' or, together with its subsidiaries, the 'Group'), today announces that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo ('DRC') has decided to grant ENRC's subsidiary Frontier Sprl ('Frontier') a new mining licence in respect of the Frontier mine for US$101.5 million. The new Frontier licence, which will be formally issued in the coming weeks, will provide feed for the Frontier processing plant that was acquired as part of the settlement with First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ('FQM'), which completed in March 2012.
Frontier is located near the town of Sakania in the DRC, within 2 kilometres of the Zambian border and approximately 70 kilometres from ENRC's Chambishi smelter. In addition to the licence area previously held by FQM at Frontier, the new licence will include adjacent areas, better conforming to the extent of the ore body. As of 31 December 2009 FQM publicly disclosed a total resource of 264 million tonnes at a grade of 1.17% copper for the Frontier licence within the boundaries defined at the time.
This is a significant transaction for ENRC, consolidating its position in the DRC and enabling it to commence operations at the Frontier processing plant. The addition of approximately 90 thousand tonnes per annum of copper production from Frontier is expected to add considerable value to ENRC's operations and expedite its plans to become a significant global copper producer. Given the additional capex now required to recommission Frontier, as well as required to complete the Kolwezi processing facility, ENRC is reviewing its copper and cobalt development priorities. An update on these development plans will be included in the Group's Half Year Results on 15 August 2012.
Felix Vulis, CEO of ENRC, said, "I am delighted that the DRC Government has decided to grant this licence to ENRC, thereby enabling us to progress operations on the site and, importantly, bringing employment and investment to the region."
Jean Felix Mupande Kapwa, Managing Director, Cadastre Minier, DRC: "We are fully satisfied to witness such achievement for this valued asset, devoted to reduce unemployment of thousands of Congolese in that area, where social and economical development completely rely on a sustainable operation of such a huge project."