Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 May 2009 – Metorex Limited – the diversified mining group listed on the JSE – increased its copper and cobalt production during the quarter to end-March 2009, but will continue to dispose of assets in the face of the global economic downturn.
A company statement issued here revealed that copper production during the first three months of the year had risen by 0.5% to 7 316 tonnes, while sales of the mineral had increased by 1.7% to 7 534 tonnes. Output of cobalt had increased by 92%to 165 tonnes, but sales had declined due to timing differences.
Metorex went on to say that it had received a cash offer from a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) company for a 15% equity interest in the Vergenoeg fluorspar mine. Conditional to a due diligence review and the necessary regulatory approvals, the transaction should become finalised in early June 2009.
The company said it planned to sell some of its assets to generate sufficient liquidity to cover its near-term debt commitments, and to fund the Ruashi ramp-up phase.
Metorex added that it had managed to restructure its US$$36 million (R320 million) loan with Standard Chartered Bank, deferring the first instalment to the end of September from the end of March, with the facility being repayable over nine semi-annual instalments.