It has been advised by joint venture partner Glencore Xstrata (LON: GLEN) that due primarily to forecast delays in deliveries and export sales, the Project will require additional working capital of about US$30 million (Blackthorn US$8 million).
The company is currently in discussions with Glencore on a range of funding alternatives and will advise the market once financing arrangements have been agreed.
Perkoa Zinc Project
Glencore and Blackthorn had recently delivered the maiden shipment of zinc concentrate from Perkoa to the Port of Abidjan in Cote d'Ivoire as part of the process of testing the logistics chain from the mine to port prior to embarking on full-scale trucking of concentrates.
The first export shipment of 13,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate from Abidjan is expected in early September while the Kitumba PFS work to date has identified underground mining as the preferred mining operation.
Mining in the open pit is continuing with the second push-back now well under way.
Drilling performance during the quarter improved with the mobilisation of an extra drill rig to site to meet the planned drilling schedule. The focus for the open pit remained on waste removal for development.
Underground ore production from development was ahead of target in June 2013, with high-grade development ore of about 13.5% zinc being mined.
This ore is being used to improve the head grade of the feed to the process plant.
Main Ramp production has recommenced and is advancing towards the 250 level.
Perkoa is expected to become cashflow positive later this year.
Blackthorn had $25.6 million in cash and cash equivalents as of 30 June 2013. At this cash level, Blackthorn is trading at more than 50 per cent of cash backing and effectively values its assets at less than intrinsic value.
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