VENTURES AFRICA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a $25 million loan agreement with leading diamond mining group Petra Diamonds to fund the expansion of Finsch diamond mine and general corporate purposes.
The financial package will help in the expansion of Finsch mine thereby extending the life of a mine that provides jobs, government revenues and opportunities for local suppliers in South Africa.
According to the IFC, the financing consists of a two-year revolving loan to Petra Diamonds’ 74 percent owned subsidiary Finsch Diamond Mine (Pty) Limited. A parallel loan with similar terms has been provided by Rand Merchant Bank. IFC is an equity and warrant holder in Petra Diamonds and has previously provided a loan for the company’s Williamson mine in Tanzania.
“Petra Diamonds is committed to working with local communities and implementing projects that follow best practice environmental and social standards” said Tom Butler, IFC Global Head of Mining. Butler also expressed the IFC’s enthusiasm to assist Petra Diamonds in its African expansion plans.
Speaking about the agreement, Petra Diamonds CEO Johan Dippenaar said the company is “pleased to continue” a long term partnership with IFC through this financing for the Finsch mine.
“IFC has once again shown that they are uniquely positioned to draw on their global resources to meet our financing needs in a timely manner”, he added.
The Finsch mine is situated approximately 165km North West of Kimberley in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
Petra Diamonds’ expansion of the 44-year-old mine is expected to extend its life for a further 18 years and enable the mine to continue providing economic benefits to South Africa.
The company boasts a well-diversified portfolio, with interests in eight producing mines: seven in South Africa (Finsch, Cullinan, Koffiefontein, Kimberley Underground, Helam, Sedibeng and Star), one in Tanzania (Williamson) and Botswana (Kalahari Diamonds).