Central Asia Metals buys out rest of Kazakh copper project

ALMATY Tue May 20, 2014 8:56am EDT

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ALMATY May 20 (Reuters) - London-listed Central Asia Metals Plc (CAML) has acquired the remaining 40 percent of the Kounrad copper project in Kazakhstan and aims to boost copper cathode output by about 50 percent by 2016, it said on Tuesday.

CAML is now the sole owner of the Kounrad project in central Kazakhstan where it processes mining waste piled up during Soviet-era operations.

"The Company plans to increase copper production at Kounrad from the existing 10,000 tonnes to 15,000 tonnes per annum by 2016 at an estimated cost of $35 million, phased over the next three years," CAML said in a statement. Kounrad is estimated to contain more than 600,000 tonnes of copper, CAML said.

It said capital expenditure would be financed from current project cash flows and is was not expected to have any impact upon CAML's dividend policy.

CAML has bought the 40 percent stake in Kounrad from prominent Kazakh businessman Kenges Rakishev. He will receive 21.2 million new ordinary shares of $0.01 representing 20 percent of CAML's issued ordinary share capital.

Rakishev will also receive 4 pence per share in lieu of the interim dividend declared by CAML in September 2013, which amounts to a cash payment of 848,470 pounds ($1.43 million), the company said. ($1 = 0.5943 British Pounds) (Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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