Our strategy is based on developing and managing profitable base metals projects for the benefit of all of our stakeholders
Central to our strategy is maintaining low cost operations. We have consistently remained in the lowest cash cost quartile for copper production at Kounrad and are confident that the integration of the Sasa mine into our business will ensure that our overall costs of production remain highly competitive.
As a result of our low cost, cash generative Kazakhstan operations, we have returned to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks in excess of the $60 million we raised at IPO, while constructing and then expanding through internally generated cash flow the Kounrad SX-EW plant on time and under budget.
employees at Kounrad, Kazakhstan
Strategic rationale for the acquisition of Lynx Resources
Our ability to return funds to shareholders has become a core principle of our business. Now that Kounrad is fully developed, we have been undertaking business development activities for some years to identify a complementary asset that would still allow us to pay attractive dividends. We believe that Sasa is a compelling fit for us, and that its acquisition creates a new diversified base metals company.
Sasa has a proven operational track record. While mining commenced at the site over fifty years ago, consistent production levels have been achieved for at least the last eight years at C1 costs that are low by industry standards. Sasa is a long life asset and, based on the mine’s current Probable Ore Reserves, production can be maintained until at least 2032. The mine has additional Inferred Mineral Resources within the existing mining licence at both Svinja Reka and Golema Reka, which offer the potential to increase the life of the operation to 2038. There is also additional resource potential in the Kozja Reka deposit area, which was previously mined between 1966 and 1989.
Strategic benefits for CAML
Geographical, operational and commodity diversification: The acquisition of Sasa provides the Company with two low operating cost, long life, and cash generative base metal mines in highly prospective jurisdictions. This diversification offers investors exposure to a range of base metals with attractive fundamentals, and the low cost nature of these combined operations should ensure the Company remains well positioned throughout the commodity cycle.
Cash generative asset to support the CAML dividend policy: Both Kounrad and Sasa are expected to be highly cash generative and should enable the Company to remain one of the leading dividend payers in the sector. From 2018, the CAML dividend policy is to return to shareholders a target range of between 30% and 50% of free cash flow, defined as net cash generated from operating activities less capital expenditure.
Operational growth opportunities: Sasa has significant Inferred Mineral Resources and other brownfield exploration targets that offer potential for growth in terms of production levels and the life of the mine.