Miner Mwana Africa yesterday said it plans to raise $35 million with a share sale that will bring in a Chinese partner and could fund the restart of a nickel mine in Zimbabwe as well as gold and copper projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Mwana said China International Mining Group Corporation would buy $21,2 million of new shares at 5,5 pence per share, with the remaining shares being sold to institutional investors via a placing at the same price.
Mwana owns a 52,9% stake in Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) in Zimbabwe, the only fully integrated nickel operation in Africa. It also owns an 80% joint-venture interest in the Zani Kodo gold project and 100% of SEMKHAT copper-gold project, both in the DRC.
BNC owns and operates the Trojan and Shangani underground mines and the Bindura smelter and refinery complex that were placed under care and maintenance in November 2008 as a result of difficult operating environment and declining global nickel prices.
Mwana shares were trading at 5,5 pence at 8:10am yesterday, up from Fridays close at just over 5 pence.
In financing conditions that remain tough for early-stage projects, miners have increasingly turned to a new generation of strategic buyers, including Chinese players keen to secure supply for the worlds greatest commodity consumer.
Chinese miners and investors have been increasingly successful in snapping up stakes or projects in Africa, from Minmetals acquisition of Anvil Mining to Jinchuans acquisition of copper and cobalt producer Metorex, or iron ore miner African Minerals $1,5 billion deal with Shandong Iron & Steel, completed last week.
Mwana Africa is a pan-African, multi-commodity resources whose principal operations and exploration activities cover gold, nickel and other base metals, and diamonds in Zimbabwe, the DRC and South Africa.
Mwana was the first African-owned and managed mining business to be listed on Londons AIM market.