Vast completes sale of Zimbabwe gold assets

 Vast completes sale of Zimbabwe gold assets
Published: 25 April 2019
VAST Resources Plc (Vast) says it has now completed the sale of its 25 percent shareholding in Pickstone Peerless Gold Mine in Zimbabwe as it focuses on its new diamond concession at Chiadzwa.

The London-listed miner said the transaction will see the company selling its 50,01 percent interest in Ronquil Enterprises, through which it holds the Zimbabwe gold assets.

"Following the approval by shareholders, all conditions precedent in relation to the sale by the company of its 50,01 percent interest in Ronquil Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, through which the company holds its Zimbabwe gold assets, being the remaining 25,01 percent economic interest in the Pickstone Peerless Gold Mine and associated assets (principally the Eureka Gold Mine), have been satisfied and the transaction has now completed," Vast said.

Vast chairperson Brian Moritz said the disposal will have the additional benefit of producing a material simplification of the company's balance sheet and the elimination of some $38 million of liabilities.

Through the sale, a US$3,4 million loan to Sub-Sahara Goldia Investments (SSGI) is largely repaid and this gives it the ability to raise finance from other parties, he said.

"The transaction repays the majority of the SSGI Loan and gives the company the ability to repay more through the RTGS$2,5 million further consideration. It should be noted that SSGI has a charge over the company's 50,1 percent interest in Ronquil," he said.

After the transaction, Vast seeks to focus on its own two growth opportunities ? the Heritage diamond concession in Zimbabwe and Baita Plai polymetal mine in Romania.

"The Heritage Concession will require significant investment, not only financial but in human resources, to enable near term positive cash flow for the business. The divesting of gold assets in Zimbabwe allows us to focus all our Zimbabwe finance and management on this key component of the company's growth,"

Vast's chief executive officer Andrew Prelea said.
Vast was appointed venture partner by the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (CCDT), enabling the firm to mine for diamonds at the Heritage concession.

In 2016, several companies were booted out of Chiadzwa after their licences had expired, resulting in the formation of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).

And having promulgated a new diamond policy late last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government believes it is ensuring accountability in the mining, processing and selling of precious mineral.

According to the recently-promulgated law, only Rio Tinto-owned Murowa, Vast, ZCDC, a Russian and Chinese company will be allowed to mine gemstones in the country.

The policy also covers all facets of diamond mining in Zimbabwe such as exploration, processing, beneficiation, marketing, security and law enforcement as well as valuation.

- dailynews
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