RBZ to pay $57m Mimosa debt

HARARE - Platinum miner, Mimosa Mine (Mimosa), is set to be paid $57 million owed to it by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) following the tabling of the Debt Assumption Bill in Parliament, the group said.

This comes after the central bank raided Mimosa’s Foreign Currency Accounts between 2007-2008 to meet the country’s needs and was supposed to pay back the money at 6,44 percent interest per annum.

Although Mimosa — and other companies — were slowly losing hope of recovering their money from the cash-strapped RBZ, government this year promised to assume the central bank’s over $1,3 billion debt.

The latest development saw Mimosa — jointly owned by South Africa’s Aquarius Platinum (Aquarius) and Impala Platinum (Implats) — putting the $57 million debt back into its books.

Aquarius chief executive Jean Nel, however, said due to delays in the enactment of the Debt Assumption Bill, the debt will only appear in the company’s future results.

“Directors noted that concluding settlement of the RBZ debt via an indigenisation transaction or the creation of treasury bills as contemplated by the Government of Zimbabwe is now unlikely to occur within 12 months of the balance sheet date, despite the progress initiatives underway,” he said.

Initially, Mimosa’s indigenous partners were set to pick up the $57 million bill incurred by the central bank but the transaction is yet to be completed.

Meanwhile, Aquarius revenue decreased by nine percent, from $233 million reported in 2014 to $213 million this year, attributable to lower platinum group metal prices.

The group’s EBITDA decreased to $26 million in June 2015 from $29 million reported for the previous corresponding year, representing a 10 percent decrease.

Aquarius reported a headline loss, before exceptional charges, of $51 million at 3,47 cents per share compared to a headline loss of $11 million at 1,13 cents per share reported for the previous corresponding year.

The platinum miner — listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Australia Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange had an accounting net loss after tax of $98 million after impairment and other non-cash once off charges.

During the year under review, mine operating net cash inflow amounted to $18 million from $21 million recorded for the previous corresponding year.

In the period under review Aquarius declared a dividend of $20 million received from the Mimosa joint venture.

As at June 30, 2015, Aquarius had a cash balance of $196 million with an additional $6 million attributable to Aquarius Platinum held in joint venture entities.

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