Harare, Zimbabwe — 29 May 2012 – Zimplats “’ a member of the Impala Group of Companies “’ fears its ability to raise loan finance will be jeopardised should it be forced to localise all its offshore accounts to Zimbabwe.
Miningmx reports that this came in the wake of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) prohibiting the local platinum miner’s local bankers from facilitating the group’s international transactions. The directive was issued due to Zimplats’ failure to comply with an order, issued in February, which compelled the country’s miners to close their offshore accounts and transfer those funds to local bank accounts.
In a statement issued here, Zimplats said it was already paying 75% of its total spend through the Zimbabwean banking system, with the balance relating mainly to the servicing of offshore loans which were raised with the approval of the RBZ.
Zimplats has two loan facilities from South Africa’s Standard Bank, principally negotiated for financing the Ngezi Phase 1 and 2 expansion projects. According to the group’s interim statements to end-December 2011, issued in February, a final instalment for the payment of a US$80 million loan was due in April.
The second loan is a revolving credit facility for US$88 million with a maturity date of December 2014. The amount drawn down at the half year was US$50 million.
Zimplats chief financial officer Patrick Maseva-Shayawabaya told Miningmx that the RBZ directive posed no immediate obstacle to the group’s ability to operate at full capacity. However, the group’s loans were issued on the conditionality that some funds were repatriated directly to related foreign accounts.
“We hope that in our discussions with the RBZ they’ll give due consideration to the fact that those loans were secured on this basis,” Maseva-Shayawabaya added. He said he was confident Zimplats could resolve the issue within a week.
Source: Miningmx. For more information, click here.