ZincOx Resources PLC
16 July 2002
ZincOx Resources Plc
ZincOx Acquires High Grade Zinc Deposit in Kazakhstan
- Completes Pre-Feasibility Study Showing IRR Of 25% -
ZincOx Resources plc (Ticker: ZOX), a world leader in the processing of zinc
oxide deposits, has today signed a Heads of Agreement (the "Agreement") with
Ennex International plc to acquire its 95% interest in the Shaimerden zinc oxide
deposit, in Kazakhstan.
The deposit, which is one of the richest zinc deposits in the world, contains a
mineable reserve of 4.3 million tonnes of ore at a zinc grade of 20.9%.
Commenting, Andrew Woollett, ZincOx's Managing Director said, "Shaimerden is an
exceptional deposit as it is not only high grade but can be mined by open pit.
The processing equipment we will be using has not previously been applied to
this deposit and the tests we have undertaken have given excellent results in
terms of recovery, grade and operating costs. The Board is extremely pleased to
have acquired this excellent deposit".
The deal follows the completion by ZincOx of a pre-feasibility study at
Shaimerden for the production of a premium quality zinc oxide concentrate. The
study examined the production of 30,000 tonnes per annum of zinc in concentrate
in the first three years rising to 60,000 tonnes from year four for a further 12
Based on a zinc price of US$1,000 per tonne, the feasibility study concluded the
project has a pre-tax net present value, at a 10% discount rate, of US$63
million and an internal rate of return of 25%.
Initial capital costs for a 30,000 tonne production level, using mining
contractors, are expected to be US$39 million. Cash operating costs are expected
to be US$168/tonne of zinc in concentrate, placing the operation not only among
the lowest in the world, but also with the ability to generate positive returns
even at today's depressed zinc price.
ZincOx will purchase the rights to the deposit from Ennex for a consideration of
US$100,000 in ordinary shares of ZincOx, with the price to be based on the mid
market price at close of trading on the day of completion of the transaction
expected to be on 28th August 2002 ("Completion"). These new ordinary shares
are subject to a 6 month lock-in from the date of issue. A further payment of
US$150,000, to be satisfied by the issue of ordinary shares of ZincOx, will be
made to Ennex on the first anniversary of Completion at the then current share
price. ZincOx will also pay the Ennex Group a production royalty of $20 per
tonne of zinc recovered from the deposit with the option to buy out the royalty
agreement for US$6 million within four years of Completion.
Application for the new ordinary shares will be made in due course and it is
expected that admission of the additional shares to the Alternative Investment
Market of the London Stock Exchange will take place shortly after Completion.
The exploration and mining rights at Shaimerden have been held by Ennex, through
its 95% owned Kazakhstan subsidiary, Closed Joint Stock Society Shaimerden
(CJSSS), since 1997, under contract with the Kazakhstan Government. The mining
licence is 12.1km2 and is surrounded by an exploration licence, covering
prospective geology, of 271km2. The balance of the shares in CJSSS are held by
a Kazakh mining investment company.
The pre-feasibility study carried out by ZincOx considered the US$5 million
detailed work undertaken by Ennex over the past five years. Results from the
existing 107 drill holes were utilised to determine reserves according to the
JORC code, which is a widely accepted international ore reserve classification.
Geo-technical and hydro-geological issues were also addressed and an open pit
designed with Whittle optimisation and a detailed schedule for the mining of
waste and ore. The pit will have a waste to ore strip ratio of about 11:1.
Metallurgical test work on representative samples from drill cores has shown
that a high grade oxide concentrate can be produced by fuming. This involves the
heating of the ore to a temperature of about 1,100o C, at which point zinc is
volatilised. Air is injected into the flues and the zinc precipitates as a fine
oxide powder, which is bagged for shipment and sale. A recovery rate of 85% is
anticipated. Zinc fuming is a widely used process, commonly involving a Waelz
kiln. Very recently new fuming equipment has been developed that has a lower
operating cost and greater efficiency, resulting in more profitable zinc fume
production. The fume from Shaimerden will be high grade and very pure, it will
therefore, be particularly attractive to conventional electrolytic zinc
refineries since it will result in very little residue requiring long term
ZincOx will complete a bankable feasibility study at Shaimerden in mid 2003
including pilot testing of a 300-tonne sample of ore. Collection of this sample
and the development of an open pit for mining has already commenced. This will
be followed by detailed plant design and engineering works in preparation for
construction with cash flow expected by late 2004.
Andrew Woollett added, "As a high quality, low cost asset, Shaimerden is a
perfect addition to our global portfolio and provides the shorter term
possibility of cash flow."
16 July 2002
For more information please contact
Andrew Woollett Leesa Peters
ZincOx Resources plc Capital PR
Tel: + 44 (0) 1276 455 700/ 07801 479 753 Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7618 7889/
0781 215 9885
Charles Stanley & Company Limited
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7953 2107
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange