To address the requirements of provision C.2.2 of the 2014 Corporate Governance Code, the Directors have assessed the prospects of the Group over a period of five years.
Mining is a long-term business and timescales can run into decades. The Group maintains life-of-mine plans covering the full remaining mine life for each of the mining operations. More detailed medium-term planning is performed for a five-year time horizon (as well as very detailed annual budgets). Accordingly, a period of five years has been selected as the appropriate period over which to assess the prospects of the Group.
When taking account of the impact of the Group’s current position on this viability assessment, the Directors have considered in particular its financial position, including its significant balance of cash, cash equivalents and liquid investments and the borrowing facilities in place, including their terms and remaining durations.
When assessing the prospects of the Group, the Directors have considered the Group’s copper price forecasts, the Group’s expected production levels, operating cost profile, capital expenditure and financing plans. The Directors have taken into consideration the Group’s principal risks which could impact the prospects of the Group over this period, with the most relevant to this viability assessment considered to be risks to the copper price outlook. Robust down-side sensitivity analyses have been performed, assessing the impact of a significant deterioration in the copper price outlook over the five-year period, along with the impact of the potential occurrence of a number of the Group’s other specific principal risks. This analysis has focused on the existing asset-base of the Group, without factoring in potential development projects, which is considered appropriate for an assessment of the Group’s ability to manage the impact of a depressed economic environment. These stress-tests all indicated results which could be managed in the normal course of business.
Based on their assessment of the Group’s prospects and viability, the Directors confirm that they have a reasonable expectation that the Group will be able to continue in operation and meet its liabilities as they fall due over the next five years.