By Business Reporter
AIM-listed African copper miner Weatherly International may soon close its doors for good as its finances are unable to support its day to day operational requirements.
As of Friday, Weatherly International’s ordinary shares have been suspended from trading on AIM, pending clarification of its financial and operational position.
As a result of the material uncertainty regarding the company’s operational and financial position, the directors have now appointed Simon Kirkhope and Andrew Johnson of FTI Consulting LLP as administrators to the company.
“It has also been agreed with the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers that the formal sales process, announced on 26 April 2018, is terminated, and Weatherly International is no longer considered to be in an “offer period”, as defined in the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers.
“Parties with a continuing interest in making a proposal should contact FTI as administrators to the company,” the company announced.
“This is a sad situation for a company that opened its Tshudi copper mine only five years ago and until recently was attempting to purchase another copper asset in Zambia.”
Weatherly International on Friday requested a suspension in the trading of its shares, effective owing to the uncertain position of its Namibia-based Tschudi mine, as a result of significant water ingress.
The Tschudi openpit mine had recently experienced a rapid increase in groundwater inflow rates. As a result, pumps and pipes within the pit have been moved, on-site standby pumping equipment and pipelines have been installed and additional pumps have also been mobilised to the site.
While water levels have been stabilised, it is not currently possible to assess the length of time required before full mining operations can be recommenced, nor can the full financial impact be assessed.
“Because of this material uncertainty, Orion Mine Finance has confirmed that it is unlikely to permit further drawdowns under the existing uncommitted loan facility with Orion,” the company said in a statement on Friday.
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