28 Sep 2013 04:00
WINDHOEK, 28 SEP (NAMPA) - Weatherly International says it is a step closer to production at the Tschudi mine after the appointment of key contractors at the copper project.
Tschudi mine is located outside Tsumeb in the Oshikoto Region.
The three major contractors appointed to construct the Tschudi copper mine and plant are Basil Read (mining), B&E International (crushing/agglomeration/stacking) and LogiMan (plant construction).
Weatherly International Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rod Webster said in a media statement issued on Thursday despite the final negotiations for the securing of a loan for Tschudi taking longer than originally anticipated, the company is making significant progress.
The final negotiations to secure the loan for Tschudi took longer than originally anticipated, but we were able to make significant operational progress during these negotiations. Appointing the contractors takes us one step closer to getting Tschudi into production, he stressed.
According to Webster, Weatherly is also close to finalising their agreement with the Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower).
Weatherly International has finalised a US.dollars 91 million (about N.dollars 910 million) loan facility with mining financier Orion Mine Finance, which will enable the copper-focused mining company to fully fund the 17 million-tonne-a-year Tschudi project to production.
This followed an amendment of the loan from the original term sheet that was signed in December 2012 to a more favourable repayment term of six-and-a-half years, which came at a cost of a 1 per cent increase in the interest rate payable.
According to Webster, Weatherly is also finalising a long-term acid supply agreement with Protea Chemicals.
We will update the market on progress on these items in due course, he added.
Weatherly currently has two producing copper mines, Otjihase and Matchless (the central operations), and full funding is in place for the development of the Tschudi copper project. These assets will enable Weatherly to achieve its medium-term strategy of establishing a copper mining business capable of sustaining approximately 25 000 tonnes of copper per year at an average industry cost of production.