Finders debt coming down

FINDERS Resources has further reduced its debt as it works on returning the Wetar copper mine in Indonesia to full production.
Finders debt coming down Finders debt coming down Finders debt coming down Finders debt coming down Finders debt coming down

Kristie Batten

Gross debt has been reduced to US$60.5 million from $60.5 million following a December repayment.

The company has reduced debt by $84.5 million over the past 18 months.

Following Wetar production issues, Finders also agreed with lenders on a revised payment schedule for the funding of the debt service reserve account.

The company deposited an initial $9 million into the account last month and will make two $4.5 million deposits in the current half.

The account will comprise around 41% of outstanding debt by the end of June.

Production at the 74.1%-owned Wetar copper mine was impacted in the second half of 2017 by a “crud run event” and jaw crusher failure.

Output in the September quarter dropped to 6131 tonnes of copper cathode from 7439t in June, and Finders said yesterday that December quarter production was likely to come in at 4100t.

“With the temporary production interruption that occurred in the September and December quarters now behind us, we look forward to returning to the previous production levels, continuing to pay down debt and growing shareholder value,” Finders managing director Barry Cahill said.

Just before Christmas, Finders updated reserves and resources for Wetar with resources coming in at 9.6 million tonnes at 2.1% copper for 206,000t of copper after depletion of 32,000t.

Reserves stand at 9.3Mt at 2.1% copper for 196,000t of copper.

Finders is currently subject to a hostile A23c per share takeover offer from Indonesian consortium Eastern Field Developments.

The company has recommended that shareholders reject the offer.

Despite the recommendation, EFD is creeping up the register, with its last substantial holder notice lodged on December 22 showing it had reached 24.86%.

The offer is due to close on January 19.

Finders shares have traded steady at 24c for the past two weeks.