CAML in good position to grow through acquisition

Base metals miner Central Asia Metals Limited (CAML), which operates in Kazakhstan and North Macedonia, is continuing efforts to expand and CEO Nigel Robinson says the company is in a good position to grow through acquisition.

Last year, the company appraised 40 opportunities, signed nondisclosure agreements for 17 and visited two sites, he said in a statement announcing the company’s 2022 results.

Robinson reported that 2022 had been a year of strong performance for CAML, notwithstanding global inflationary pressures. “We are pleased with our 2022 results and to have made the final repayment in August 2022 of the debt that we borrowed to acquire Sasa in 2017,” he said.

Sasa produced 21 473 t of zinc in concentrate and 27 354 t of lead in concentrate at a C1 zinc equivalent cash cost of production of $0.78/lb, reflecting in particular elevated electricity costs incurred during the second half of 2022.

The Kounrad operations continued to perform well, and CAML increased its copper cathode production guidance to 13 500 t to 14 000 t during the second half and ended the year reporting production in excess of that at 14 254 t.

Kounrad’s 2022 C1 copper cash cost of production remained very low by global standards at $0.65/lb, despite inflationary pressures.

Regardless of global challenges, the CAML business performed very well, due to its inherent low-cost base and strong balance sheet.

CAML reported gross revenue of $232.2-million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $131.6-million at an Ebitda margin of 57% for 2022.

In August, CAML made its final repayment of the $187-million debt which it secured to acquire Sasa less than five years before. CAML ended 2022 with cash in the bank of $60.6-million.

Following the performance, the company proposed a 10p-a-share final dividend, resulting in a full-year dividend of 20p a share, comparable with 2021.