Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Natasa withdraws liquidation case against African Copper

Natasa Mining Limited, the Australian mining outfit, withdrew its case against African Copper Plc on Wednesday.
The case was aimed at forcing the former into liquidation.

The┬á decision ┬áfollows┬á African Copper’s (ACU’s) move┬á to “unconditionally“ settle all of Natasa’s outstanding debts┬á last week by African CopperÔÇöthe owner of┬á Mowana Mine that is gearing up to re-open┬á in the next three months.

African Copper, a  company that was be-devilled by  cash problems that forced it to suspend  mining operations for the last five months, got some cash injection from Zambia Copper Investments (ZCI).

ZCI was voted the preferred bidder for ZCI after┬áACU┬á quashed Natasa’s hopes of winning a bid that would have entitled it to have a stake in Mowana mine.

In statement issued out┬á early last week, ┬áAfrican Copper said it had “unconditionally paid┬á to the┬á account of trustee of the holders of┬á bonds issued by ACU (African Copper) wholly owned subsidiary Missena Copper Botswana P 153 million or US $ 20.4 million being the full principal amount owing┬á under the bonds ┬átogether with accrued but unpaid interest”.

“In addition, ACU paid P 15.7 million to the account of Natasa solicitors being aggregate amount, less certain deductions in relation to some disputed claims, owing to Natasa as a result┬á of debts of Messina’s trade┬á creditors acquired by Natasa,” the company said.
Natasa had demanded African Copper to pay its debt or face liquidation after it lost the bid  and also rallied bondholder to ask African Copper to redeem their bonds in full.

African Copper is planning to start mining operations ┬áin the next three months after it got an injection of US $10 million┬á ┬áfrom ┬áits Zambia Copper Investments (ZCI), as part of a move to help the country’s budding miner to get off its feet.

African Copper  sold 6,766,705 shares worth  about US $ 9.9 million last week and  that gave  ZCI an interest in the organization of  82 percent.

The money was in addition to the┬áextra US $ 25.4 million which it injected┬áfrom the US $22 million loan facility. That move is expected to┬ámove back the legal threats posed by Natasa Mining Limited ÔÇöthe Australian company┬á whose bid was rejected ÔÇô is suing the miner for not accepting its bid.
“We are currently working on a new mining plan and the plan is to re-start operations within┬áthree months,” African Copper’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris ┬áFedericks said.

 The company also de-listed from the Toronto Stock Exchange saying that the London market would be able to serve the rest of Europe and northern America.

African Copper, which shut a mine in January after running out of cash, fell the most in London trading since going public in 2004 after the holder of a bond issue demanded immediate repayment.  

African Copper, a London AIM ┬áand Botswana listed company, is operating Mowana Mine which ┬áis about 100 kilometers west of┬á Botswana’s second largest city, Francistown.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.