Despite a weak market for copper, Central Asia Metals (CAML) turned in an impressive first half 2016 performance by increasing profits and raising its half-yearly dividend. H1 2016 earnings per share was up 95% year-on-year, to US9.5c, and the company has increased its interim dividend by 22%, to 5.5p per share.
CAML’s main asset is its Kounrad copper dump treatment operation, in Kazakhstan, which produces copper through an SX-EW plant without the need for expensive mining.
In H1, the company produced a record 6,908t of copper (up 27%). Its already low unit costs fell by a phenomenal 40%, on higher production and exchange rate movements, firmly establishing its position as one of the lowest cost, if not the lowest, copper producer in the world.
CAML says it is on schedule to increase copper production to 13,000-14,000t in 2016, from 12,100t in 2015. Access to resources in the Western dumps will allow operations to continue through to 2034. The expansion is under budget and scheduled for completion in Q4 2016. The company had cash of US$30 million, and no debt, at the end of June 2016.