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Released 07:00 22-December-2014

Number 4105A

Stratex International Plc / Index: AIM / Epic: STI / Sector: Mining

Stratex International Plc  

('Stratex' or 'the Company')

Year End Project and Corporate Update


Stratex International Plc, the AIM-quoted exploration and development company, is pleased to provide an update on its operations in Turkey, West Africa, and East Africa.



·         Altıntepe gold mine moves closer to production with construction likely to be completed in Q1 2015;

·         Muratdere feasibility study outcome imminent;

·         Drilling results from Dalafin expected Q1 2015;

·         Restructuring of Ethiopia and Djibouti interests completed;

·         Strategic investment in GoldStone completed;

·         Stratex board changes and vision for growth.


Christopher Hall, Stratex Chairman said, “At the start of the year we released a strategic update highlighting the areas where Stratex’s business model, which is unusual in the UK, was expected to deliver further results.

“I am pleased to report we have made progress on multiple fronts.  At the Altıntepe gold project in Turkey, where Stratex’s 45% interest is fully funded to production, construction is well advanced and all equipment has now been delivered to site.  The management team has done an excellent job but unseasonally heavy rain has interfered with the schedule, particularly in relation to the heap leach pad, and the completion date has unfortunately slipped into Q1 next year.  We will be making a site visit in January and will review progress with our partner Bahar and will then update the market with more detail.

“At the Muratdere copper-gold porphyry project, also in Turkey, our partner Lodos expects to have the feasibility study completed, and the official application for the environmental impact assessment will be made, by the end of the year.  Stratex will then retain a 30% interest and will consider whether to contribute, dilute or harvest the investment.

“In East Africa, we have completed a restructuring with our partners Thani Emirates Resources.  We have injected our 95% interest in the Blackrock project in Ethiopia and a 49% interest in the Oklila project in Djibouti into a new company, Thani Stratex Resources (TSR).  Thani contributed its properties in Egypt, both parties invested US$1.0 million each in seed capital and in consideration of the relative expenditures to date, the equity holdings are 40% Stratex and 60% Thani.  I have joined the TSR board and look forward to the results of new exploration initiatives.  The intention is, in due course, to attract third party funding and, at an appropriate time, to list the company.

“Elsewhere in East Africa, there was further drilling at 14%-owned Tembo Gold whose property is on strike from Bulyanhulu in Tanzania.  The expectation of a transition from discovery to resource has proved more elusive than we hoped but management is now evaluating the potential for more limited tonnages of surface minable resources in addition to considering other options for further drilling.

“A strategic, £1.25 million investment was completed in AIM-quoted GoldStone Resources in early November.  Stratex now has a 34% interest in the share capital of GoldStone, together with warrants, which if exercised, would take us to 50.1%.  Bob Foster and I have joined the GoldStone board which will soon be considering the outcome of a consultant’s review of the principal asset, the Homase-Akrokerri project in Ghana, immediately northeast of and adjacent to the Obuasi mine of Anglogold Ashanti.  The property has a 600,000 oz resource, which, although not economic at today’s gold price, contains some 100,000 oz of near-surface oxide gold.  Our objective is to add to this by looking at extensions, parallel structures and untested anomalies.  The potential of GoldStone’s Sangola gold project in Senegal is also being reviewed and consideration is being given to joint venturing the two properties in Gabon as the company’s resources are too limited to be spread over three countries.

“Stratex has limited its financial exposure to all of the above projects and there is no intention, or requirement, to make further investments in them.  We now have carried positions in a gold mine which will start production in early 2015; a copper-gold porphyry project approaching feasibility; an advanced project in Ghana with the objective of accumulating an economic, near-surface resource, and an expanded portfolio of assets in the Horn of Africa, where drilling has already commenced.

“The overhead and exploration expense in Ethiopia and Djibouti have gone and efforts are being made to reduce costs, particularly in Turkey where any ongoing exploration is hampered by land availability but specific programmes are being funded by our strategic partners Centerra and Antofagasta.  We expect income to commence from Altıntepe next year but timing and quantum are unclear, and there is a strong indication that Centerra will bring the Öksüt mine into production in 2016, which would see the start of our capped, 1% royalty.  We are therefore conscious that what remains of our cash at the end of 2014 must last until sustainable income begins or project harvesting can recommence.  Our objective remains to generate our own exploration funding.

“Nevertheless in order to generate income or disposal proceeds, it is necessary to build value in projects.  Our 85% owned Dalafin project in Senegal has returned encouraging results and we judge that continuing carefully focused investment here is justified.  We have not yet demonstrated the potential scale of the discovery so, in spite of approaches from major mining companies, we will continue to try to add value.  In Liberia, results from our exploration of the Sinoe licence in the eastern part of the country did not meet our criteria for continuing to invest in the project. Consequently we have advised owners Aforo Resources Limited (ARL) that we do not wish to proceed further. However, Stratex retains a significant shareholding (16.14%) in ARL.

“When Stratex acquired Dalafin in 2012, there was a success-based, deferred payment in cash or shares which would be triggered by the discovery of a minimum of 500,000 oz of gold in the first three years, which expires on 31 December 2014.  John Cole-Baker was a director of Silvrex and was invited to join the Stratex board where he has been principally responsible for our activities in West Africa.  Consequently John has participated fully in the management of the work at Dalafin and is satisfied that Stratex has actively sought to define a resource. The Stratex board has agreed that, notwithstanding the expiry of the time period, if a resource is declared in early 2015 from work carried out before the year end, Stratex will honour that payment.  When John joined our board, he made it clear that he only expected to remain a director for up to three years.  He has now decided to retire from Stratex and has given notice of his resignation, effective from 1 January 2015 and will remain a director until 31 March 2015.

“On behalf of the Board I would like to pay tribute to his immense experience, in Africa and with dealing with African officials and partners.  His efforts have been invaluable both here, and more recently in Turkey, where his engineering skills have made a valuable contribution at Altıntepe.  In order to retain the benefit of these skills, we asked him to remain a Director of Stratex West Africa Limited and Stratex EMC S.A. He has agreed and he will therefore continue to play a major role in the development of these entities. He will also be available on a consultancy basis as required by the Company.

We recently announced the appointment of Emma Priestley as an Executive Director of Stratex.  Emma has worked extensively in Africa in recent years and has considerable knowledge, experience and connections in a wide range of countries. I believe her commercial expertise will serve Stratex well as she spearheads our new business development.  In the current market, where relatively successful companies like ours attract a wide range of opportunities, this development is more likely to involve corporate transactions than acquisition of new exploration ground.  There are still more listed companies than there is management and cash to go round and we will continue to seek opportunities to combine with like-minded companies for cost saving and mutual benefit.

“The year ahead holds great promise as we move towards a sustainable income stream.  We believe we have invested prudently, to accelerate progress faster than with traditional exploration, and we are mindful of the need to minimise cash outflow pending the start of income.  However, we do not think the market would be forgiving if we battened down the hatches and did nothing.  There are many and varied, good-value opportunities out there.  The key will be to survive, to develop and to build the foundations for strong growth when the market improves, which it will eventually.  We look forward to the coming year with relatively strong finances, good prospects, experienced management and the determination to succeed.”


* * ENDS * *

For further information please visit, email [email protected], or contact:


Stratex International Plc

Tel: +44 (0)20 7830 9650



Christopher Hall / Bob Foster / Claire Bay




Grant Thornton UK LLP

Tel: +44 (0)20 7383 5100



Philip Secrett / Melanie Frean / Jen Clarke





Northland Capital Partners Limited

Tel: +44 (0)20 7382 1100




Gavin Burnell / Matthew Johnson /

Alice Lane /John Howes





SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3470 0470




Ewan Leggat / Tercel Moore





Yellow Jersey PR Limited

Tel: +44 (0)20 3664 4087



Dominic Barretto / Philip Ranger / Anna Legge











Notes to Editors:

Stratex International is a well-funded AIM-quoted exploration and development company focussed on gold and high-value base metals in Turkey, East Africa and West Africa. Since listing on AIM in 2006, Stratex has had an impressive track record of successful exploration supported by joint-venture partnerships, both with major international mining companies and local companies to maximise the potential of its discoveries.

In December 2012 the Company announced the sale of its 30% interest in the Öksüt gold project for cash of 20 times its original US$1 million investment and retained a royalty of 1% up to a maximum additional value of US$20 million. To date Stratex has discovered more than 2.2 million ounces of gold and 7.9 million ounces of silver, as well as 186,000 tonnes of copper. The Company has a robust cash balance and is therefore well-placed to advance its existing exploration programmes and is also actively seeking to acquire advanced projects that are at the drill-ready stage or even have identified resources, particularly in East Africa and West Africa.

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