Mwana Africa subsidiary Bindura Nickel Corporation (BNC) has completed its $20 million bond issue, a key step towards the restart of the existing Bindura Smelter and Refinery.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
The refinery will process ore into refined nickel metal.
The smelter is expected to be re-opened in the fourth quarter of this year and requires a funding of $26,5 million.
Mwana chief executive officer Kalaa Mpinga said he was happy with the completion of the bond offering.
“The closing of the corporate bond offer demonstrates the confidence the Zimbabwean financial institutions have in the prospects for BNC and its management team to provide a financial return while delivering tangible social benefit through job creation and in-country beneficiation of Zimbabwe’s natural resources with the support of the Government of Zimbabwe,” Mpinga said.
He said Ecobank Zimbabwe ensured that the bond issue was a success, reaffirming its commitment to help build a market for those seeking investments.
“This is the first corporate bond to be issued for a mining company with both Prescribed and Liquid Asset status, and we shall endeavour to deliver on the stated 12-month accelerated smelter restart plan,” he said.
Funds to restart the smelter would be provided through private placement and a redeemable fixed rate secure bond of $20 million and the balance would be from internal resources.
The company extended the period for the bond to last month from January.
For the quarter ended December, BNC’s Trojan Mine nickel concentrate was down 30% due to fewer tonnes of ore milled, lower head grade and reduced recoveries.
The mining company said equipment taken out for the refurbishment exercise alongside ongoing maintenance reduced resources available for mining development, which in turn restricted access to massives.
This resulted in a 23% drop in mill head grade. Recoveries were 2% lower than in the September quarter as a result of the lower nickel head grade.