Shares in Weatherly International began trading on AIM again on Monday this week after a three-month suspension. AIM is the development component of the London Stock Exchange.
Responding to questions by the Economist, Camilla Horsfall said on behalf of Weatherly. “All of the information that is available is already in the public domain, unfortunately I am not able to give you anything further. We will update the market as and when there is material news to report.”
Trading was halted in February due to operating problems at its Tschudi copper mine between Tsumeb and Grootfontein. Hurt also by low copper prices, Weatherly had to negotiate refinancing with Orion Mine Finance, which has put up US$91million to fund the project. Last week, Orion agreed to pump at least US$5million into the firm through an equity subscription, taking an 18.1% share in Weatherly.
The cash injection should provide enough working capital to see it through the ramp-up stage of Tschudi, with full production expected in the fourth quarter. The company also announced on Friday last week that Rod Webster will step down as chief executive at the end of June. He will be replaced by Craig Thomas, Weatherly’s current Chief Operating Officer. “We reduce our target price from 8.3p to 4.5p, principally because of the operating problems but also because of dilution from the fund-raising,” said broker finnCap. “The company has stated that the processing difficulties at Tschudi are limited to a certain ore type, which it believes it has defined and that it has now excluded from the mine plan.
This is now being stockpiled and the mining rate accelerated to compensate for this. The company plans to announce an updated resource taking account of these factors in the third quarter of 2015. Shares initially opened 10% lower but subsequently recovered to 1.6p,” added broker RFC Ambrian”.
Weatherly produced its first copper from Tschudi in February, followed by 692 tonnes in March. At Weatherly’s central operations at Otjihase and Matchless, a total of 1,822 tonnes of copper was produced in the quarter, of which 1,172 tonnes, or 64%, was produced in March.