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Karo in talks to raise US$260 million debt capital


Jan 13, 2024

By ETimes

Karo Mining Holdings says talks are underway to secure US$260 million in loan money to finance its Karo Platinum Project in Zimbabwe.

The Karo Platinum Project in Zimbabwe, which aims to build a 17-year opencast mine with a timeframe to bring its first ore to mill in July 2024, is utilising a multi-phased development model.

The first exploratory operations were initially financed by a US$8 million financing facility by Tharisa plc. The company resolved this amount in 2022 by issuing additional ordinary shares.

On top of the stock and quasi-equity that the company planned to raise to finance the Karo Platinum Project, Tharisa plc pledged to fund the project with US$135 million; US$65 million of that sum has already been provided.

In a statement accompanying the results for the year ended 30 September 2023, the company said the remaining US$70-million is available for drawdown.

On the other hand, negotiations are still ongoing to secure US$260 million in loan money to finance the Karo Platinum Project.

“Negotiations are well advanced by Karo Platinum on a senior project finance facility and a term sheet has been agreed with a consortium of lenders, supported by political and commercial risk insurance, for an amount of US$160 million,” reads the statement.

“Negotiations for the balance of the funding are on-going and the alternatives include commodity pre-payments, by-product and base metal streaming transactions, working capital facilities and possible strategic investors.”

Karo Platinum has advisors assigned to counsel it on these options.

“The prospects of success are considered high based on the long asset life of the project and core commodity fundamentals,” further reads the report.

“The directors have and will continue to review the spending, investment and commitments in the project; and have prepared scenarios to match the project commitments and funding availability should it be required to maintain available funds for the foreseeable future.”

Karo, which is 80 km southwest of Harare, has been granted a special concession in the Great Dyke.

The Great Dyke covers 23,902.9 hectares and is home to the primary PGM- and base metal-rich sulphide zone in Mashonaland West province-HARARE

By ETimes

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