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Weatherly shares shoot up 80% as co says copper operation will go live well ahead of plan

Shares in Weatherly International shot up 80% after the miner said the construction and commissioning of its Tschudi operation in Namibia is well ahead of schedule with first copper expected next month.

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Shares in Weatherly International (LON:WTI) shot up 80% after it said the construction and commissioning of its Tschudi operation in Namibia is well ahead of schedule.

First copper is expected next month, the miner revealed.

In a short update, the AIM-listed group said both the solvent extraction and the electro-winning plant will be completed within the coming week, ready to begin plating copper.

Broker Investec said: “It is good to see a mining company deliver ahead of expectations and we hope that this continues, and certainly in the current weaker copper priced environment there is less room for error.”

Crushing and agglomeration is now in full operation, the solvent extraction facility is in the process of being filled with diluent and the anodes are currently being loaded into the electro-winning cells. The cathodes will follow.

Over 80,000 tonnes of ore has been stacked and the first seven cells are being irrigated with sulphuric acid.

Chief executive Rod Webster told investors: "The project is well ahead of its original schedule, with first copper expected next month.

“The crushing and processing plant is now in full operation and functioning effectively.

“We are using a proven technology to extract high grade copper in a low cost operation.”

While the shares rose 71% to 1.5p, this still only valued the business at £11mln.

Broker Ambrian, in a note to clients, reckoned the stock could be worth as much as 5.5p.

The catalyst for rerating, analyst Jim Taylor said, would be the delivery on Tschudi on time and on budget.

That revaluation appears to be taking place, although the stock has not had the easiest of rides over the last year as it has fallen 62%.

That said, the declines of this magnitude have been commonplace across a sector that is out of favour and lacked support.

On Weatherly, Taylor said in a research note this week: “Our analysis shows that there is considerable upside to the share price if Tschudi is delivered as planned.

“We note that the high level of debt relative to the current market cap makes our target price highly sensitive to model assumptions.

"In our view, specific risks to our target price relate mainly to the potential for a prolonged ramp-up period and lower-than-anticipated copper revenues during ramp-up.”

Shares rose 80% to 1.575p.

Quick facts: Weatherly International plc

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AIM:WTI
Market: AIM
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