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Released 10:06 05-May-2015
Number 1684M

This announcement replaces RNS 1684M released at 09.06 on 5 May 2015. The amendment is to move the sentence ‘This compares with the previously reported net income of US$59 million, IRR of 16%, and equivalent NPV of US$17.6 million’, to relate to the correct project. All other text remains the same.

 

Stratex International Plc / Index: AIM / Epic: STI / Sector: Mining

Stratex International Plc 

('Stratex' or 'the Company')

Update on Development and Exploration Projects in Turkey

Altintepe Gold Project, Muratdere Copper Project, and Karaağaç Exploration Project

 

Stratex International Plc, the AIM-quoted exploration and development company, is pleased to provide a progress update on its two advanced exploration projects in Turkey.

At the Company’s 45%-owned Altintepe Gold Project (‘Altintepe’), its joint-venture partner Bahar Madencilik has been funding all pre-production costs, including US$39 million towards construction. Meanwhile, at its Muratdere copper project (‘Muratdere’), the Company’s joint-venture partner Lodos Maden Yatırım Sanayii ve Ticaret A.Ş. (‘Lodos’) has recently completed a feasibility study as the final part of its commitment to earn to 70% of the Project and has now provided a revised base-case financial model for the project.

 

Highlights:

Altintepe

· Construction of three-stage crushing plant and ADR plant well advanced and commissioning of the ADR plant is projected for late-June;

· Unseasonably wet weather persisted until late April and final construction of leach pad commencing shortly; and

· Court decision pending on legal challenges directed at the original Environmental Impact Assessment.

Muratdere

· Revised base-case model for the copper project using current metal prices delivers a net income after tax of US$90 million with IRR of 29% and NPV(7.6%) of US$35.9 million; and

· Stratex in discussion with partner Lodos to determine the best way forward for the Company.

Karaağaç

· Exploration underway with the intention of drilling as soon as forest permits have been granted; and

· Programme funded by partner Anadolu Export, who will pay Stratex US$500,000 cash if a minimum JORC-compliant indicated resource of 50,000 oz gold is confirmed, plus a 1.5% net smelter returns royalty on any future mineral production.

 

Bob Foster, Stratex Chief Executive, said, “Construction of the mine has progressed, despite heavy precipitation continuing into late-April. It is unfortunate, however, that these conditions have continued to delay construction of the leach pad but dry weather can be expected to be the norm now and final construction should commence shortly. We anticipate giving a more detailed update following a site visit by our technical team. 

“The revised economic model for Muratdere based on re-structured deployment of capital expenditure and current metal prices has delivered a much more favourable end-result. We are now reviewing the detail of the feasibility study and will be making a site visit shortly before resuming discussions with partner Lodos to decide on the best way forward for Stratex.   

“It is also encouraging to report that, with the improving weather situation, the exploration programme on the Karaağaç project is now getting underway, the programme being funded by Turkish partner Anadolu Export.”

 

Further details:

Further to the construction update earlier this year (Announcement dated 23 February 2015), Bahar Madencilik advise that installation of the crushers and the ADR plant are almost complete and it is anticipated that the ADR plant will be ready for commissioning in late June. However unseasonably heavy rain and snow have continued into late April. This has delayed the construction of the leach pad but dry summer weather has now set in and construction is underway. A technical team from Stratex will review progress on site shortly and the Company will then provide a more detailed analysis of progress and when completion and plant commissioning can be expected. However it is likely that first gold production may be delayed as late as Q4 of this year.

Following the previously reported challenges to the original EIA, court-appointed experts visited the site on 20 March and will submit their reports to the court when finalised. The date of any decision by the court is not known.

In the meantime, Altıntepe Madencilik has advised that they have appealed against a recent court decision to uphold the the exclusion of a small part of the licence that overlies the Kayatepe Zone from the currently permitted area which was based on the identification of minor items of archaeological interest in the area during the original EIA study. Should this appeal fail it should be noted that the decision will have no impact on the current mine development and project economics, which are based on the Camlik East Zone and Camlik Zone, with an expectation of then extending the mine development to the Extension Ridge Zone.

For more information and photos of the mine development at Altıntepe, please click the following link http://www.stratexinternational.com/project/Altıntepe.  

 

On 11 March 2015, the Company reported successful completion of the feasibility study at Muratdere, fully funded by Lodos. Following evaluation of the initial project economics by both companies, Lodos has revised its base-case model based on the current price of metals (copper - $6,000/tonne) and a two-phase development of the tailings dam.

Utilising the same three-pit development plan, over the 16-year mine life, the operation will produce approximately 15,967,000 tonnes of copper ore - 59% from supergene enriched material and 41% from hypogene material - and approximately 26 million tonnes of waste material. Total metal produced in concentrate would be 68,139 tonnes copper.

The revised capital cost is U$44.7 million, comprising initial capital of U$28.7 and a further U$16.1 million for subsequent operating capital – plus U$5 million VAT that would be recoverable. Operating cost is projected at US$15.3 per tonne of ore processed and includes mining, plant, G&A, state rentals and royalties.

Total net income after tax would be US$90 million with a project IRR of 29%, and NPV of US$35.9 million discounted at 7.6% over the projected 16-year life of mine. This compares with the previously reported net income of US$59 million, IRR of 16%, and equivalent NPV of US$17.6 million. 

The Company is now in discussion with Lodos to consider the most appropriate option for Stratex to share in the future success of the project

For more information on Muratdere, please click the following link http://www.stratexinternational.com/project/muratdere.  

With the onset of suitable weather conditions Stratex has now commenced the design of a resource-drilling programme on the Karaağaç project and will shortly be submitting an application for a forest permit to allow drilling to proceed. This programme is being funded by Turkish partner Anadolu Export Maden Sanayi ve Ticaret Limited Şirketi (‘Anadolu’), who will spend up to US$1.5 million on exploration and drilling at the Project within two years (Announcement dated 2 February 2015). Anadolu will pay Stratex US$500,000 cash if a minimum JORC-compliant indicated resource of 50,000 oz gold is confirmed for the Project within the Exploration Period, plus a 1.5% net smelter returns royalty on any future mineral production. 

For more information on Karaağaç, please click the following link:

http://www.stratexinternational.com/project/karaagac/

 

* * ENDS * *

 

 

For further information please visit www.stratexinternational.com, email info@stratexplc.com, or contact:

 

Stratex International Plc

Tel: +44 (0)20 7830 9650

Bob Foster / Christopher Hall / Claire Bay

 

 

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Tel: +44 (0)20 7383 5100

Philip Secrett / Melanie Frean / Jen Clarke

 

 

Northland Capital Partners Limited

Tel: +44 (0)20 7382 1100

Gerry Beaney / David Hignell/

Abigail Wayne /John Howes

 

 

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3470 0470

Ewan Leggat / Tercel Moore

 

 

Yellow Jersey PR Limited

Tel: +44 (0)7747 788 221

Anna Legge / Dominic Barretto

 

 

Notes to Editors:

Focused on the exploration and development of gold and high-value base metals, Stratex International is active in Turkey and Senegal and has strategic interests in East Africa and Ghana. Since listing on AIM in 2006, Stratex has had an impressive track record of successful exploration supported by joint-venture partnerships, both with major international mining companies and local companies to maximise the potential of its discoveries.

To date Stratex has discovered more than 2.2 million ounces of gold and 7.9 million ounces of silver, as well as 186,000 tonnes of copper. The Company is looking to completion of construction of its 45%-owned Altıntepe gold project in Turkey in 2015 and anticipates gold production before year-end. Additionally a 1% production royalty capped at US$20 million will be due from the Öksüt project, also in Turkey, with first production provisionally targeted for late-2016 by owners Centerra Gold. With its current cash position and projected cash returns, the Company is well-placed to advance its existing exploration programmes and is also actively seeking to acquire advanced projects that are at the drill-ready stage or even have identified resources.

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