• Atlas Mining cleared for P1.8-B loan


    LISTED firm Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. is borrowing P1.8 billion from its principal shareholders to finance the development of another potential ore source in its copper mine in Cebu.

    In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Adrian Ramos, president of Atlas Mining, said the company’s board of directors has approved resolutions authorizing the company to avail of convertible loan facilities which will be extended by the company’s principal shareholder groups.

    Among Atlas’ major shareholders are SM Investments Corp., National Bookstore Inc., Anglo Philippine Holdings Corp. and Bank of Nova Scotia.

    Ramos said proceeds of the capital-raising exercise will be used to subscribe to the capital stock of its wholly owned operating subsidiary Carmen Copper Corp. (CCC).

    “While we continue to work to maximize production at Carmen Copper, we remain constrained by a weak copper price environment. Also, there is still a need to invest further in the development of our Carmen open-pit mine to ensure that the target output levels for the ensuing years will be achieved,” Ramos said.

    The loans, which are convertible into Atlas Mining shares, will have a three-year tenor and will earn an interest rate of four percent per annum payable semi-annually. The loan wills also have an indicative yield-to-maturity of 5.625 percent.

    Standard Chartered Bank was appointed as financial advisor in respect of the transaction. Closing is expected to take place in the next two weeks following completion of documentation.

    Atlas earlier reported a net loss of P637 million in the first quarter of the year as revenues were pressured by lower realized metal prices and lower shipment volumes. Revenues shrank 28 percent to P2.6 billion in the first three months of 2015.

    Atlas has been developing the Carmen ore body as a source of high-grade ore as a short- term strategy for coping with low metal prices. The company has previously been sourcing its ore from the Lutopan ore body, which is now yielding lower-grade ore.


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