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Wesizwe receives $650m China loan

Jan 22 2013 08:05
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Last Updated: 01/01/0001 at 12:00. Prices are delayed by 15 minutes. Source: McGregor BFA

Johannesburg - Wesizwe Platinum [JSE:WEZ] announced on Monday that the credit committee of the China Development Bank (CDB) has approved the $650m loan for the development of the Bakubung Platinum Mine project in November 2012.

As part of the loan agreement‚ CDB and Wesizwe signed two separate $100m short-term loan contracts in December 2012‚ which will be refunded by part of the $650m long-term loan‚ but are separate loan agreements.

One $100m loan was put in place in December 2012 and the other $100m will be in place once the long-term loan $650m precedent conditions have been finalised‚ including the contract and account agreement‚ the company said.

“Wesizwe is commencing the negotiation process on the contracts in the coming weeks and the process will be finalised by end of February this year. The above funding arrangements are in accordance with the terms and conditions of investment entered into between Wesizwe and China-Africa Jinchuan Investments‚ agreed to in terms of the subscription agreement signed between the parties in May 2011‚”Wesizwe said.

According to the miner‚ Wesizwe’s Bakubung Platinum Mine project‚ located in the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex close to the town of Rustenburg‚ is progressing well and remains on budget and on schedule.

Main commissioning of the mine is scheduled for 2018 and full production is anticipated in 2023. The project is already benefiting local people in the neighbouring Ledig area‚ with the project having achieved a local employment percentage of 30.21%.

In addition‚ a programme of specialist training and development initiatives to support the future employment needs of the mine has been implemented‚ including a new‚ accredited Rock Drill Operator Academy which took in the first local recruits in November last year‚ aimed at developing a new essential mining skills training resource for the future.

Speaking on the announcement of the funding confirmation for Bakubung Platinum Mine‚ Jianke Gao‚ Chief Executive Officer of Wesizwe‚ said: “The confirmation of our new funding arrangements for our flagship project represents the first of several important milestones to be reached and announced this year and demonstrates the level of confidence in the project‚ and in the future of the South African mining industry‚ on the part of our Chinese shareholders. This is good news for Wesizwe and sends a positive signal to the industry as a whole during what is currently a challenging period of time.”  

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