Karo extends bond subscription period

05 Dec, 2022 - 00:12 0 Views
Karo extends bond subscription period

The Herald

Business Reporter

Karo Mining Holdings (KMH), a subsidiary of South African platinum producer Tharisa, has extended the period for subscription of its US$50 million bond issue, to be listed on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) to December 09, 2022.

The bond subscription, which opened on October 31, 2022 and was initially planned to close on November 30, 2022, is scheduled to list by way of introduction on December 14, 2022.

According to the group, the proceeds from the bond will be applied to partly fund the Karo platinum project in Mhondoro, a development stage, low-cost, open-pit platinum group of metals (PGM) asset, located on the Great Dyke.

In a notice to stakeholders, the group said: “Tharisa, the platinum group metals (PGMs) and chrome co-producer dual-listed on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges, hereby advises an extension of the fixed income note offer (the bond or notes’ by Karo Mining Holdings (the Issuer), a subsidiary of Tharisa, to raise US$50 million to be listed by way of introduction on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX).

“All submissions to Zimbabwe’s Insurance and Pensions Commission relating to the Bond being conferred ‘prescribed asset status’ have been lodged. However, regulatory approval is still awaited.”

According to the group, the PGM project on the Great Dyke is scheduled to commence production with the first ore milled in July 2024.

Ground-breaking using a local earthworks contractor has commenced, marking the beginning of the construction phase.

“The capital raise forms part of a broader capital strategy by Tharisa to fund the development of the project,” said Tharisa.

Tharisa is a 70 percent shareholder in KHM, a company incorporated in the Republic of Cyprus, which in turn indirectly owns 85 percent of the project on the Great Dyke, while the Government holds the remaining 15 percent, on a free carry basis.

The KMH project is a long-life asset that will be developed in phases to extract the PGM and base metal resources with capacity to increase gross domestic product by 2 percent.

“The initial phase of the Karo Project is estimated to increase Zimbabwe’s PGM production by some 18,7 percent and grow the country’s GDP by about 2 percent.

“It will also result in the creation of an estimated 1 000 direct employment opportunities with an estimated 7 000 additional indirect employment opportunities as a result of the multiplier effect,” said the group in a VFEX. bond prospectus.

The mega-project comes as the mining sector has been identified as a key enabler to economic growth contributing significantly to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The country is angling to become an upper-middle-income economy by 2030 as espoused in Vision 2030. The economic blueprint – National Development Strategy (NDS1) provides the roadmap to that aspiration where mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism among other sectors are expected to contribute significantly to economic growth, which also comes at a time the country is recovering from the adverse impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Zimbabwe is also aspiring to have a US$12 billion mining revenue by 2023 backed by increased production while leveraging on technology for production efficiencies as well as value addition. 

Gold, platinum, diamonds and chrome are expected to make significant contributions towards achieving this dream, although erratic power supplies pose a threat to operations across sectors.

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