Oz Minerals Ltd (OZL.AX), the world's second-largest zinc miner, said it has agreed a bridging loan from its main lenders to keep its operations going while it tries to refinance a total of $560 million in debt.
The A$140 million ($92 million) facility is available mainly to cover expected short-term cash requirements for its operations and projects at Golden Grove, Prominent Hill and Martabe, Oz Minerals said in a statement on Thursday. The company, created last year with the merger of Oxiana and Zinifex, has been depleting its cash reserves rapidly as its operations have been squeezed by falling commodity prices.
It has already shut a small nickel mine to help slow the cash burn and is trying to sell prized mines to raise cash.
It is due to refinance a syndicated credit line, of which $420 million has been drawn, as well as a loan of $140 million, by Feb. 27.
Oz Minerals said in it was still pursuing asset sales but was not in a position yet to announce any firm outcomes.
It has granted security over its Century, Rosebery and Avebury mines in Australia to Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), with which it had a dispute over a A$250 million credit facility.
It expects to grant Societe Generale security over some Canadian exploration assets by the end of January, investor relations manager Richard Hedstrom said.
Trading in Oz Mineral's shares has been suspended since Nov. 28. The shares had lost about 85 percent of their value since January last year. (Reporting by Jonathan Standing and Sonali Paul; Editing by Lincoln Feast)
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