Strategic Minerals says Leigh Creek project is ‘a key asset’
Francesca Morgan
RNS Newswire
08:10, 21st May 2020

Strategic Minerals (AIM:SMLFOLLOW) said Leigh Creek Copper Mine has lodged a draft program for environment protection and rehabilitation ("PEPR") with the South Australian government.

The lodgement of the draft PEPR is an important step to fully re-opening operations and producing copper at Leigh Creek which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Strategic Minerals.

Strategic acquired the Leigh Creek Copper Mine in March 2018, which is situated in the copper rich belt of South Australia, and brought the project into production in April 2019.

Once the regulatory approvals of the PEPR are complete, which generally takes up to three to four months, LCCM can look at re-starting operations subject to financing.

The directors believe that LCCM is ‘ideally placed’ as a second income stream for the company with a short development time frame and low capital costs to first production. 

Shares in Strategic Minerals were opened flat 0.55p on Thursday morning.

The company said it was unsure as to whether approval timing would be impacted by Covid-19 but highlighted the negative impact the pandemic has had on copper prices.

However, it said that the fall in copper prices has ‘largely been ameliorated’ by a concurrent drop in the USD/AUD exchange rate.

"Whilst the Leigh Creek project is taking longer to progress than anticipated, the Board considers that LCCM, which has a book value of US$6.8m, is a key asset within its portfolio,” said John Peters, MD of Strategic Minerals.

The group also highlighted the “continued strength” of its Cobre iron ore tailings project in New Mexico which the board expects will produce around US$3m in sales and US$1.5m in after-tax cash this year.

Peters said this will provide “adequate scope” to locate and execute with a joint venture partner.

“Again, this emphasises that, subject to financing, a second income stream for the group is relatively at hand,” he added.

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