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Glencore providing $80M for zinc-lead project

Keywords: Tags  Glencore International, Perkoa, Blackthorn Resources, zinc, lead, silver, Scott Lowe, Burkina Faso Mumbwa

WINDHOEK, Namibia — Glencore International Plc will provide $80 million in additional financing to meet working capital, construction and commissioning costs for the Perkoa zinc, lead and silver project in Burkina Faso.

Glencore’s Perkoa joint-venture partner, Australian Stock Exchange-listed Blackthorn Resources Ltd., said the additional financing will cover working capital and additional capital requirements during 2013.

"Blackthorn has elected not to fund its share ($35 million) of the $80-million capital requirement," the company said, and as a result its stake in the project will fall to 27.3 percent from 39.9 percent. The Burkina Faso government holds a non-dilutable 10-percent interest in the operation.

The new shareholding structure means Blackthorn will no longer be required to raise capital for Perkoa, allowing it to preserve its cash resources for developing its flagship Mumbwa copper project in Zambia while retaining Perkoa’s key investment features and exposure to a diversified base metals project, said Scott Lowe, Blackthorn’s managing director. "For a company of Blackthorn Resources’ size and profile, we believe this is an appropriate balance to maintain," he added.

Perkoa is on course to ship its first concentrates in the second quarter of 2013. Zinc grades being mined from the open-pit mine so far are better than originally expected, the company said.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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