African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) fell 4.3pc to 0.45p on Monday after announcing that it will proceed with its copper-cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The business, which was trading flat with a £1.63m valuation on Tuesday, said it is now discussing a next stage exploration programme for its 70pc-owned and operated Kisinka asset.

The decision followed a site visit by chairman Andrew Bell who, alongside executive director Paul Johnson, replaced the firm’s old management team last month. After meeting with local technical advisers & vendors and analysing existing data, African Battery says it has found ways to modify Kisinka’s exploration programme and optimise expenditure. A further announcement will be made regarding a new programme ‘in due course’.

Alongside this, African Battery said that all outstanding Kisinka project payments have now been made to the site’s vendor, who is also 30pc owner. Meanwhile, the company has made changes to the site’s legal ownership structure to ensure it complies with the new local mining act. Consequently, Kisinka is in ‘good standing’ according to African Battery.

Johnson said he was looking ‘looking forward’ to taking the site forward, adding that the firm is continuing to review its assets in Cameroon and the Ivory Coast over coming weeks. It will report back individually on each these.

This work forms part of an ongoing strategic and operational review aimed at reorganising African Battery. This comes after the outfit was suspended from trading under its previous board last December as demands from short-term creditors exceeded available working capital. It was re-admitted last month after shareholders voted in favour of a host of proposals aimed and restructuring the business under Bell and Johnson.

This included a conditional placing and subscription to raise £1m at 0.5p a share and help pay off creditors. Last week, African Battery said it has now paid all material creditor balances through either cash or share settlements.  It now has no material debt and free working capital of around £860,000. It believes this figure will cover corporate plc costs, anticipated project exploration, and expenditure on existing interests for 12 months.

Alongside African Battery’s existing project interests, Bell and Johnson are reviewing the organisation’s administration and management. They are also looking at new opportunities in battery metals, precious metals, and other commodity groups with a principal focus on Africa.

In Tuesday’s update, Johnson added: ‘The overriding objective of the Company now is to work efficiently through our review of existing interests and where we decide to proceed, to design and implement exploration and development programmes efficiently. In parallel we continue to review additional opportunities where we see potential for considerable value to be added to our business for shareholders. Further update announcements are expected in the near term.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

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