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New Century to grow with Mt Lyell copper acquisition

New Century

New Century has completed a multi-faceted growth transaction that will position it to acquire the Mt Lyell copper mine in Tasmania, boosting the company’s upward trajectory into a leading economic rehabilitation and tailings management company.

The transaction involves a significant investment from Sibanye-Stillwater, whereby the South Africa-based company will acquire 19.99 per cent of New Century.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s investment forms the basis of a three-tranche equity raise, with which the company has subscribed to approximately 139.6 million shares under an institutional placement represented by $US24.8 million ($32.9 million) worth of investments in total.

Approximately 212.4 million new shares have been subscribed to New Century all up under the placement, with select institutional shareholders also committing their interest to the company.

New Century managing director Patrick Walta said the growth transaction has set a significant platform for continued transformation.

“The New Century team has a clear focus on its vision to become a global leader in economic rehabilitation and tailings management,” he said.

“With the Century Mine asset now generating strong consistent cash flows, combined with hedging of unprecedented zinc prices and the near-term development of Silver King and other in-situ deposits, the company has created a fantastic ‘engine room’ for future growth.”

Sibanye-Stillwater chief executive officer Neal Froneman is also buoyed by the prospects of the new partnership.

“This investment in New Century represents a significant next step in our strategy of building a leading global tailings retreatment business, diversified by commodity and geography and is aligned with our sustainability strategy of building a climate change resilient business,” he said.

“We have been impressed with what the New Century management team has achieved at developing a globally significant zinc producing business through the reprocessing of tailings, whilst facilitating the rehabilitation of an old mine site.”

The first order of business under the new partnership will be the expansion of the Mt Lyell copper mine in Tasmania.

New Century has secured an agreement with Monte Cello BV, a subsidiary of Vedanta, for the acquisition of Copper Mines of Tasmania, owner of the Mt Lyell copper mine.

First starting operations in the 1890s, Mt Lyell is considered one of the most significant copper mines in Australian history.

Mt Lyell has a 135-metric-tonne (Mt) mineral resource containing 1.1Mt of copper and approximately 940,000 ounces of gold across various underground and open pit deposits.

New Century recorded a total zinc production of approximately 28,900 tonnes at C1 costs of $US0.89 ($1.18)/pound of payable zinc in the September quarter.

The company’s quarterly performance was interrupted by a period of ball mill bypass in September.

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