TIDMATM

RNS Number : 6630V

AfriTin Mining Ltd

15 December 2021

15 December 2021

AfriTin Mining Limited

("AfriTin" or the "Company")

Quarterly Production Update

AfriTin Mining Limited (AIM: ATM), an African tech-metals mining company with a portfolio of mining and exploration assets in Namibia containing tin, lithium and tantalum, including its flagship asset , the Uis Tin Mine ("Uis"), is pleased to provide a production update for the three-month period ended 30 November 2021 (Q3 of the financial year).

Highlights:

   --      Production of tin increased by 20% quarter-on-quarter ("QoQ") to 136 tonnes; 
   --      Ore tonnes processed increased by 17% QoQ to 149k tonnes; 
   --      All-in sustaining cost ("AISC") for the Uis operation improved by 22% QoQ to c. US$23k; 
   --      Construction of Uis Phase 1 Expansion Project is on track and on budget; and 

-- Workstreams for an enhanced, large-scale Uis Phase 2 expansion have commenced, which include exploration drilling targeting resource expansion to 150 million tonnes of ore and metallurgical test work and piloting for lithium and tantalum by-products.

Anthony Viljoen (CEO) commented:

"We are pleased to present a solid set of operational results that exceed our internal production targets. Sustained improvements in operational efficiencies have resulted in substantial increases in ore processed and concentrate produced, and testifies to the capacity and resilience of the AfriTin technical team.

These results provide us with the momentum to progress rapidly with the expansion of our Phase 1 plant at Uis, and serve as proof of concept for the planned, large-scale Phase 2 facility. By leveraging economies of scale and the multi-commodity potential of Uis, we are confident of achieving our ultimate aim of establishing a tier-one tech-metal mining and processing operation."

Operational review:

During the quarter under review the Company has delivered a strong operating performance and has made considerable progress towards its goal of progressing the expansion of Uis to 10,000 tonnes of tin concentrate and 350,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per year in its Phase 2 expansion.

Uis produced 220 tonnes of tin concentrate, containing 136 tonnes of tin metal. The latter represents a 20% improvement on the previous quarter, exceeding the nameplate production target of 108 tonnes of tin metal by 26%.

A 17% increase in plant throughput, totalling 148,700 tonnes of ore for the quarter, was supported by continuous improvement initiatives, which focussed on enhancing plant availability, utilisation, processing rate and tin recovery. Plant availability increased to 88% and plant processing rate to 94 tonnes per hour. Tin recovery for Q3 (61%) remained above the nameplate target of 60%.

The plant feed grade of 0.150% tin compares favourably with the projected life-of-mine feed grade of 0.138% tin. The higher feed grade is the result of natural grade variations in the ore body as modelled in the life-of-mine plan.

The enhanced operational efficiencies from the continuous improvement programme at Uis, resulted in a substantial improvement in operating cost and AISC (18% and 22% respectively QoQ). The AISC of US$23,290 per tonne of contained tin compares with the achieved price of US$39,025 per tonne. The AISC is expected to continue its downward trend driven by the commissioning of the Phase 1 Expansion Project and further process improvements to be implemented over the next 6 months, by leveraging fixed costs through economies of scale and higher efficiencies.

Uis Expansion:

The Uis deposit, located in Namibia, was discovered in 1911 and developed into the largest hard-rock tin mine in the world at the time. Production ended in 1990 as a result of low tin prices.

AfriTin is redeveloping the mine in two phases. Phase 1 involves a pilot plant which is in full operation. Current nameplate production of 720 tonnes of tin concentrate per annum has been achieved and the plant is profitable on tin alone. The Phase 1 Expansion Project is projected to increase tin concentrate production by 67%, is on track and on budget, with all long lead equipment items already ordered. Detailed design work has been completed, civils construction has commenced, and steel fabrication is in progress. Construction and commissioning of the expanded plant is on track to be completed in Q2 2022.

Workstreams for an enhanced, large-scale Uis Phase 2 expansion are in progress. The Phase 2 operation is envisaged to produce 10,000 tonnes of tin concentrate, 350,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate, and 1,000 tonnes of tantalum concentrate per annum. Phase 2 workstreams include an exploration drilling programme announced on 26 October 2021, a by-product development programme announced on 18 November 2021, and additional studies for upgrading bulk water and power supply infrastructure.

The aim of the exploration drilling programme is to expand the existing Mineral Resource Estimate (71.5 million tonnes of ore) through confirmation of the historical resource estimates at Uis. The latter, combined with mapping data for virgin pegmatite ore bodies, provides the basis for the Company's resource target of 150 million tonnes. In addition, the drilling programme will increase the geological confidence for modelling potential lithium and tantalum by-product elements.

The aim of the by-product development programme is to enhance the beneficiation processes and offtake routes for additional revenue streams though the sale of separate lithium and tantalum products. The programme includes a range of off-site metallurgical test work campaigns, as well as on-site bulk test work and piloting.

The installed bulk water and power infrastructure has sufficient capacity to meet the requirements of the expanded Phase 1 plant. However, Phase 2 will require infrastructure upgrades. The Company is engaged with the Namibian state-owned utilities and various private sector entities to explore options related to bulk water and power supply. Potential solutions include renewable energy generation and linking up to existing desalinated water supply infrastructure in the region.

The Company will provide regular updates to the market on the progress of these programmes.

Table 1 : Quarterly performance of the Uis Phase 1 processing plant during the 2022 financial year.

 
 Description         Units                         2022 Financial Year (March 2021 to February 2022) 
                                       Q1 Actual                Q2 Actual               Q3 Actual           Q3 vs Q2 
                                  (Mar 2021 - May 2021)    (Jun 2021- Aug 2021)    (Sep 2021 - Nov 2021)    (% change) 
                                -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
 Plant 
  Availability         %                   75                      78                       88                 13% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
 Plant 
  Utilisation          %                   83                      85                       84                 -1% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
 Plant 
  Processing 
  Rate                tph                  84                      87                       94                 8% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
 Ore Processed         t                115,751                  127,263                 148,700               17% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
 Feed Grade          % tin               0.167                    0.137                   0.150                10% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
 Tin 
  Concentrate          t                  183                      185                     220                 19% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
 Tin Contained 
  in 
  Concentrate          t                  114                      113                     136                 20% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
 Tin Recovery          %                   59                      65                       61                 -6% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
 Operating           US$/t 
  cost for Uis     contained 
  Tin Mine *          tin                24,084                  26,625                   21,834              -18% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
                     US$/t 
 AISC for Uis      contained 
  Tin Mine **         tin                28,158                  29,931                   23,290              -22% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
                     US$/t 
 Tin Price         contained 
  Achieved            tin                30,749                  34,235                   39,025               14% 
                --------------  -----------------------  ----------------------  -----------------------  ------------ 
 

* Operating Cost (excludes sustaining capital expenditure associated with developing and maintaining the Uis operation; unaudited)

** AISC = All-In Sustaining Cost (incorporates all costs related to sustaining production and in particular recognising the sustaining capital expenditure associated with developing and maintaining the Uis operation, including pre-stripping waste mining costs; unaudited)

 
 AfriTin Mining Limited                +27 (11) 268 6555 
 Anthony Viljoen, CEO 
 Nominated Adviser                     +44 (0) 207 220 1666 
 WH Ireland Limited 
  Katy Mitchell 
 Corporate Advisor and Joint Broker 
 H&P Advisory Limited 
  Andrew Chubb 
  Jay Ashfield 
  Nilesh Patel                         +44 (0) 20 7907 8500 
 Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited 
  Ashton Clanfield 
  Callum Stewart                       +44 (0) 20 7710 7600 
 Tavistock Financial PR (United 
  Kingdom)                             +44 (0) 207 920 3150 
 Jos Simson 
  Nick Elwes 
 

About AfriTin Mining Limited

Notes to Editors

AfriTin Mining Limited is a London-listed tech-metals mining company with a vision to create a portfolio of globally significant, conflict-free, producing assets. The Company's flagship asset is the Uis Tin Mine in Namibia, formerly the world's largest hard-rock open cast tin mine.

AfriTin is managed by an experienced board of directors and management team with a current strategy to ramp-up production at the Uis Tin Mine in Namibia to 10,000 tonnes of tin concentrate and 350,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate in a Phase 2 expansion, having reached Phase 1 commercial production in 2020. The Company strives to capitalise on the solid supply/demand fundamentals of tin and lithium by developing a critical mass of resource inventory, achieving production in the near term and further scaling production by consolidating tech-metal assets in Africa.

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