African Copper (ACU.L) said on Wednesday it will suspend production at its Mowana mine in Botswana for at least three weeks while the company holds talks to raise up to $15 million for its working capital needs.

It said the mine has been placed on care and maintenance pending the finalisation of financing talks and because of the global drop in copper demand and prices. Copper prices MCU3 slumped more than 50 percent last year.

The miner said it is in talks with a number of finance providers but that there is no certainty these discussions will result in the company being able to raise additional funds.

If the company is unable to obtain the required financing, the company will be unable (in the absence of alternate funding) to meet its obligations and continue as a going concern, it said in a statement.

It said production delays have resulted in fourth-quarter output shortfalls from the copper in concentrate production forecast of about 1,500 tonnes to 270 tonnes.

For at least the next three weeks all employees, except essential service workers, will take paid leave, it said.

(Reporting by Julie Crust; editing by Rosalba O'Brien)© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserv