MACA exits Brazil, prepares for more FQM Ravensthorpe work

Contract miner, MACA Ltd, says it will cease operations in Brazil, effective January 2020, following the early termination of a contract at the Antas copper mine.

The contract, due to conclude in 2020, was with AVB Mineracao Ltda, a subsidiary of OZ Minerals, which announced back in mid-2019 that it planned to close the Antas open pit (pictured) in 2021. The reduction in the work in hand (WIH) position as a result of the early termination will be around A$8 million ($5.5 million), the company said.

At the same time as announcing this news, MACA said its mining division had received a letter of intent (LOI) from First Quantum Minerals to carry out works at the Tamarine limestone quarry, in Western Australia, including mining, crushing and screening of limestone over a three-year period. This contract was worth around A$20 million over that timeframe, MACA said.

The LOI follows the Ravensthorpe contract award with First Quantum that was announced November 20, 2019. MACA said works were expected to start in February utilising existing crushing equipment.

In Brazil, MACA said it would retain ownership of the majority of the plant and equipment currently utilised at the Antas copper mine, in Para state, northern Brazil, and would dispose of assets that are not redeployed to other operations.

“It is expected there will be a non-cash impairment related to the cessation of operations in Brazil of approximately A$2 million,” MACA said. “In addition, there are unrealised forex losses that will be triggered upon closure of the subsidiary, of approximately A$5 million based on current exchange rates.”

Profit from ordinary operations was not expected to be impacted as a result of the closure given the recent financial performance of the contract, MACA added.

WIH attributable to MACA as at January 31, 2020 is expected to be A$2.3 billion across all business units, MACA said, with current guidance for financial year 2020 (to end-June) remaining at A$770 million revenue and EBITDA from operations (excluding the impact of the Antas impairment and forex losses) to be in a range of A$104-$110 million.