OZ Finance Breakthrough

OZ Minerals has announced that it has secured a bridging finance facility of up to $140 million, to be provided by all of its "Facility A" lenders.

OZ Minerals has announced that it has secured a bridging finance facility of up to $140 million, to be provided by all of its “Facility A” lenders.

All documentation to enable the Company to draw down under this facility has been executed and the company expects to have access to funds under the facility as from Tuesday 27 January 2009.

As at close of business on 21 January, the Company’s cash balance was $122.1 million.

According to a company statement, proceeds from the bridging facility are principally available to be used to cover expected short-term cash requirements in respect of the Company’s operations and projects at Golden Grove, Prominent Hill and Martabe.

“While copper and zinc prices have recovered by around 16% and 8% respectively from their recent lows in December, prices are still well below the levels at the end of September,” OZ Minerals Managing Director and CEO Andrew Michelmore said.

“In this environment, our ability to access this bridging finance facility provides the Company with sure access to the short-term funding it needs whilst we finalise the refinancing of debt facilities.”

According to the company, the bridging facility will terminate on 27 February 2009 and is repayable by that date.

As previously announced to the market, OZ Minerals is working to achieve a refinancing of its debt facilities by 27 February 2009 with the agreement of its lenders and, in that context, is actively pursuing both an asset sale program and other initiatives.

“We are not yet in a position to announce any firm outcomes in respect of asset sales or other initiatives as these matters are still incomplete and subject to on-going confidential negotiations, but we have been delighted with the level of interest expressed in most of our assets and with progress to date,” Andrew Michelmore said.

“It is never possible to forecast definitive dates in circumstances such as these, but we are confident that we will be able to inform the market of tangible progress in this regard in the future.”

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