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Central Asia Metals (CAML)

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Monday 28 September, 2020

Central Asia Metals

Further update regarding Sasa's TSF4

RNS Number : 2176A
Central Asia Metals PLC
28 September 2020
 

28 September 2020

 

CENTRAL ASIA METALS PLC

('CAML' or the 'Company')

Further update regarding Sasa's Tailings Storage Facility 4 ('TSF4')

Central Asia Metals plc (AIM: CAML) today announces an update following the 14 September 2020 leakage at its Sasa Tailings Storage Facility TSF4.

Impact on the environment and local community

Surveyors have now accurately calculated a total volume of leaked material from TSF4 of 8,000m3, of which 3,000m3 is the coarse fraction of the dam wall and the remainder comprises water and the fines fraction.

A detailed survey of the river has been undertaken to define the lateral extent and depth of the tailings along the water course. This survey will be submitted to the relevant authorities along with a technical document that defines the physical methods for clean-up and disposal of the tailings. The clean-up of an initial high-priority section of the Kamenica River commenced last week with the agreement of the authorities.

Wardell Armstrong Limited has been engaged together with local consultants, EcoMosaic to assess the social and environmental impact on the full length of the river (approximately 14 kilometres) and lake. EcoMosaic will lead the Environmental and Social Damage Assessment and Wardell Armstrong will produce a Remediation and Mitigation Report. These consultants will be on site this week to agree the work programme, which should commence in early October.  

Along the river, 17 sampling points have been established and samples have been taken daily since 14 September 2020 and sent to an independent accredited laboratory. Samples analysed in the days after the event have demonstrated that lead, iron, arsenic and cadmium are all within the allowed levels of Sasa's mining licence terms at all sampling points along the length of the river. While zinc and manganese levels are slightly elevated, this is also the case up-stream before the river enters the Sasa mining licence area and recent readings are in line with typical historic trends. In addition, there has been no material impact on dissolved oxygen levels at any of the monitoring stations.  

Sasa management team has been informed that the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning ('MoEPP') has quantified a €65,000 fine for the environmental impact associated with the leakage at TSF4. This will be settled within the week.

Regular meetings have been held with the local mayor who, along with community representatives in the town closest to the Sasa mine, Makedonska Kamenica, has been kept informed throughout the past two weeks of progress on the river remediation plans as well as the status of TSF4 and its impact on the Sasa operation.  

Production

As announced on 17 September 2020, the authorities granted Sasa permission to dispose of tailings for a period of 10 days into the prior storage facility, TSF3.2. This permission has now expired and Sasa has temporarily stopped the processing of ore. Mining operations have continued, with ore being stockpiled on surface for the time being.

The physical repairs to the tailings dam are now complete and the necessary engineering improvements to ensure the long-term safe storage of tailings have been agreed amongst the Company's technical team and external advisers, including Knight Piésold Limited. It is expected that these improvements, together with amendments to the operating procedures, should be complete in approximately one week.  

In the meantime, Sasa management are working closely with the relevant local authorities in order to obtain the necessary permissions to re-commence the deposition of tailings into TSF4. The Company's production guidance for Sasa will therefore remain under review until it is clearer when the processing of ore can re-commence.

CAML's CEO, Nigel Robinson, is in North Macedonia with the Group's Chief Operating Officer and Sustainability Director in order to liaise with the technical consultants at site and meet with both local community representatives and government ministers, including the Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev. 

Further updates will be provided in due course.

For further information contact:

Central Asia Metals

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7898 9001

Nigel Robinson, CEO

 

Gavin Ferrar, CFO

 

Louise Wrathall, Director of Corporate Relations

[email protected]

 

 

Peel Hunt (Nominated Advisor and Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Ross Allister

 

David McKeown

 

 

 

BMO Capital Markets (Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7236 1010

Thomas Rider

 

Neil Elliot

 

 

 

Blytheweigh (PR Advisors)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7138 3204

Tim Blythe

 

Megan Ray

 

Rachael Brooks

 


Note to editors:

 

Central Asia Metals, an AIM-listed UK company based in London, owns 100% of the Kounrad SX-EW copper project in central Kazakhstan and 100% of the Sasa zinc-lead mine in North Macedonia.

For further information, please visit:  www.centralasiametals.com and https://twitter.com/CamlMetals

 

 

 

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