Struggling Namibian copper mining and smelting firm, Weatherly International Plc, has clinched a US$ 11 million loan from Toronto Stock Exchange, listed Dundee Precious Metals, and another unnamed party to fund the expansion of its smelter in Namibia.
The financial jolt into the London-based ailing copper miner came after the comp any last Thursday announced it had shut down two of its remaining copper mines i n Namibia, citing shrinking margins due to a slump in global prices of copper.
Weatherly, which owns Namibia Custom Smelters and the now mothballed five copper mines in Namibia, said Monday that the US$ 11 million would be used to fund the expansion and ongoing requirements of the smelter.
The smelter currently toll-refine about 150,000 tonnes of concentrates per year. Management said that commissioning of an oxygen plant in 2009 would boost the sm elter’s capacity by about 60 per cent.
“The funds provided by the loan facility will be used to fund the expansion and ongoing requirements of the Tsumeb Smelter,” Weathely said in an e-mailed statement.
Weatherly, which admitted that its balance sheet is shaky, suspended trading of ordinary shares on the London Stock Exchange three weeks ago.
Last week, Weatherly shut down two of its remaining mines in Namibia, throwing i nto the streets, more than 620 workers.
Workers’ unions said Monday that they were discussing with mine management negot iating the retrenched workers’ packages.