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 TORONTO, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Metall Mining Corporation ("Metall") is in the process of implementing a strategic plan designed to establish Metall as a major integrated copper producer over the medium term, Dr. Klaus M. Zeitler, president and chief executive officer, announced today.
 Copper has been a significant product of Metall since its inception in 1987. Metall's copper production has increased each year since 1987, and in 1992 Metall's share of mine production was 109,000 tons. Metall considers that the price prospects for copper will develop favorably because the development of housing, infrastructure and communications in the emerging markets, particularly in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, will increase demand. Because of this relatively high demand, copper has withstood the present cyclical downturn of base metal prices better than other base metals and Metall expects copper to maintain this leading position when base metal prices recover.
 Implementation of the copper strategy, which includes the acquisition of significant mining and smelting assets, would further diversify Metall's production base and reduce its exposure to changes in copper treatment charges. Metall also anticipates that the development of a significant presence in the smelting industry will better position Metall to acquire large-scale copper mining projects by assuring downstream copper processing capacity.
 Three specific steps in implementation of the strategy are currently underway.
 Expansion and Modernization at Copper Range
 As the first initiative of the copper strategy, Metall's 87 percent subsidiary Copper Range Company, an integrated copper producer in the northern peninsula of Michigan, is proceeding with a feasibility study for the expansion and modernization of its smelter and refinery operations, which would increase its smelting capacity from 75,000 metric tons per annum ("mtpa") to 135,000 mtpa. A pre-feasibility study has indicated that such a project could be economic and would meet present and anticipated future environmental standards. The feasibility study is expected to be completed in mid-1994.
 Copper Range has also begun test work to determine the feasibility of leaching the underground pillars in its mine and recovering the copper in an SX-EW plant. Test work is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 1994. If the test work indicates leaching is feasible, and if permitting can be arranged, substantial increases in production would be possible and unit operating costs would decline significantly. This would also result in a substantial increase in recoverable reserves of copper.
 Acquisition of Smelting Assets From MG
 As the second initiative, Metall is considering the possible acquisition from Metallgesellschaft AG ("MGAG") of its copper smelting and refining assets, including its 35 per cent interest in Norddeutsche Affinerie AG in Hamburg, Germany and a 40.35 percent interest in Montanwerke Brixlegg GmbH in Austria. MGAG is the leading shareholder of both Norddeutsche and Brixlegg.
 Norddeutsche Affinerie is one of Europe's largest copper producers. It processes both primary and secondary materials using the most advanced metallurgical processes at the highest environmental standards. Its products include continuous cast products and hot-rolled copper rod from electrolytic copper as well as precious metals, lead, metal powders and various metallic salts. Norddeutsche currently produces 350,000 mtpa of copper cathode.
 Brixlegg is one of the largest secondary copper smelters in Europe. Annual production capacity is 55,000 mtpa of copper cathode and a further increase to 72,000 mtpa is planned. Downstream facilities are able to produce 40,000 mtpa of copper cast products.
 The board of directors of Metall has considered the acquisition of the smelting and refining assets on a preliminary basis, and agreed with the strategic rationale for such an acquisition. The board has appointed a committee of independent directors to further consider and review the transaction. While a purchase price has yet to be settled, the independent committee of Metall has retained NM Rothschild & Sons Limited of London, England to prepare a valuation of the MGAG copper smelting assets. The acquisition would be subject to approval by Metall's shareholders, at a meeting of shareholders of Metall, which is expected to be held in October or November of this year.
 It is anticipated that, subject to regulatory approval, a substantial portion of the purchase price for the copper smelting assets may be satisfied by the issue of common shares of Metall to MGAG. Management is investigating a number of alternatives to finance the balance of the purchase price, including a public offering of Metall common shares.
 Acquisition of World Class Mine
 As its third and complementary strategic initiative, in addition to the planned increase in copper concentrate production from its existing copper development projects, Metall is aggressively pursuing the acquisition of a large-scale copper mining project. Metall already has an interest in a major copper deposit through the Petaquilla project in Panama. An acquisition would augment Metall's copper concentrate production capacity to offset any newly acquired copper smelting capacity.
 Dr. Zeitler said, "This integrated expansion strategy will strengthen Metall's position as a major copper producer in both the North American and European markets."
 Metall Mining Corporation is a Canadian-based international mining company with significant interests in copper, zinc, lead, gold, silver and industrial mineral operations and properties in North America, Europe and the Pacific rim.
 -0- 8/17/93
 /CONTACT: H. Douglas Scharf, vice-president--finance of Metall Mining, 416-361-6400/

CO: Metall Mining Corporation ST: Ontario IN: MNG SU:

TM -- NY094 -- 3794 08/17/93 19:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 17, 1993

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