Loss-making copper miner, African Copper has appointed former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Boikobo Paya to its board.
The London and Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed company owns the Mowana and Thakadu copper mines in the northeastern district.
In a statement pronouncing the board changes, the company also announce the appointment of Royd Corrans, currently a non-executive director of African Copper, as non-executive chairman of the copper firm, succeeding David Rodier who is retiring from the board.
“The company announces the appointment of Boikobo Paya as an additional non-executive director with immediate effect.
“Boikobo Paya, a Motswana, was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources from October 2010 to August 2014.
“Paya was the deputy permanent secretary in the same ministry responsible for the water and energy sectors, a post he held from October 2008,” read the statement.
Paya’s prior experience in government positions included project manager of the Mmamabula Coordinating Unit, under the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources and Director of the Department of Water Affairs.
Paya holds a BSc and an MPhil in geology and has extensive research experience.
Commenting on the changes, Roy Corrans, Chairman, said, “On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank David Rodier for his very hard work and dedication to African Copper in Botswana over the last five years. We wish him a long and happy retirement.
“I am delighted to welcome Boikobo Paya to the Board and am sure his long experience in government in Botswana will translate into valuable contributions to the Board’s deliberations.”
Paya is currently Head of Research at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST).
He is also a non-executive director of Debswana and chairman of Diamond Trading Company Botswana.
African copper has posted losses in the last few years owing to depressed international copper prices as well as low ore recovery.
Last week the company announced a loss of $8.8 million (P80 million) for the six-month period ended 30 September 2014, compared with a loss of $29.1 million for the corresponding period in 2013.
Commenting on the financial results, African Copper Acting Chief Executive Officer and Director, Jordan Soko said the company continues to require support of its parent company and principal shareholder, ZCI Limited.
“ZCI has agreed to defer all principal and interest payments arising from the company’s debt obligations until December 31, 2015 and has confirmed it will continue to make sufficient financial resources available to African Copper up to a maximum of $7 million to allow it to meet its liabilities in the course of normal operations,” said Soko.
In the period, the operating income from mining operations decreased by 39 percent from $6.5 million for the corresponding period last year, driven by increases in mining and transport activities at Thakadu, to make up for previous shortfalls in mining and drilling activity.
The average copper produced in concentrate for the period amounted to 946 tonnes per month, with the highest and lowest levels yielding 1, 303 tonnes and 407 tonnes.