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13 December 2012
CENTRAL ASIA METALS PLC
("CAML" or the "Company")
CAML announces maiden dividends
· Annual dividend policy adopted
o Maiden interim dividend of $4.5 million declared, equivalent to 3.30 pence per ordinary share
o Final dividend of a similar amount currently expected to be declared in March 2013
o In addition, special dividend of $5.0 million declared, equivalent to 3.70 pence per ordinary share
· Kounrad production exceeds 6,250 tonnes of copper in first eight months of production
· Current CAML Group cash balance of $29.3 million
CAML is pleased to announce that it is adopting a dividend policy which will result in the Company paying annual dividends to its shareholders. The annual dividend will be calculated as a percentage of the attributable revenues earned from its SX-EW copper project at Kounrad, Kazakhstan and will be a minimum of 20% of such revenues. The payments will be will be made by means of an interim and final dividend subject to the Company's cash reserves providing a dividend cover of three times or greater.
For 2012, due to the particularly strong cash-flows generated by the Kounrad project, the Company is targeting to distribute 30% of the attributable revenue. The Directors have therefore declared a maiden interim dividend for the year of $4.5 million. This equates to 3.30 pence per ordinary share based on an exchange rate of £1 = $1.60. The ordinary shares will go ex-dividend on 16 January 2013 and the interim dividend will be payable to all shareholders registered at the record date of 18 January 2013 and will be paid on 1 February 2013.
The Company currently expects that it will be in a position to declare a final dividend for the year ending 31 December 2012 of a similar amount. This will be announced at the time of the Company's annual results for 2012, which are scheduled to be released by the end of March 2013.
The Company has also decided to pay a special dividend to its shareholders of $5.0 million to recognise the significant savings the Company has achieved in the construction and commissioning of the plant at Kounrad and the better than anticipated production levels achieved.
This equates to 3.70 pence per ordinary share based on an exchange rate of £1 = $1.60. The ordinary shares will go ex-dividend on 16 January 2013 and the special dividend will be payable to all shareholders registered at the record date of 18 January 2013 and will be paid on 1 February 2013.
The total dividends to be paid of $9.5million, 7 pence per ordinary share, enables CAML to return cash to its shareholders, whilst also enabling it to invest in the future growth of the business. The dividends have also been agreed after due consideration of the current and expected profitability of the business, the inherent volatility associated with the commodity markets and the funding requirements for a potential second 10,000 tonne per annum SX-EW plant at Kounrad.
Kounrad Production Update
The initial Kounrad production target for 2012 was 5,000 tonnes of copper and this was increased to 5,750 tonnes in late September 2012 at the time of the Company's interim announcement. As at 12 December 2012, production reached 6,250 tonnes of which 5,863 tonnes has been delivered to customers through the Company's off-take arrangements with Traxys.
A full year production update will be announced in January 2013.
Nick Clarke, Chief Executive Officer commented:
"The announcement of dividend payments totalling $9.5 million representing 7 pence per ordinary share reflects the transformation that has taken place in the Company's financial position over the past two years. This is a result of our commitment across the CAML Group to capital and operational cost discipline and a successful first eight months of copper production at Kounrad.
The implementation of an annual dividend policy also reflects the importance the Company places on delivering meaningful cash returns to our shareholders and sustainable value creation."
Central Asia Metals plc Nick Clarke +44 (0) 20 7898 9001
Canaccord Genuity Limited Andrew Chubb +44 (0)20 7253 8000
Mirabaud Securities LLP Peter Krens +44 (0)20 7878 3362
Pelham Bell Pottinger Charles Vivian +44 (0)20 7861 3232
Notes to Editors
Central Asia Metals plc ("CAML" or the "Company") is an AIM-listed UK company based in London. Its countries of operation are Kazakhstan and Mongolia. CAML is a copper production, precious and base metals exploration and development company with majority stakes in copper, gold and molybdenum projects throughout Central Asia.
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