What it does
It has exposure to a diverse range of commodities including copper, gold, silver, lead and diamonds.
What it owns
In Zimbabwe, Vast has the Heritage concession in the Marange Diamond Fields.
In Romania, assets include the Blueberry gold project, the Magura Neagra polymetallic licence and the Manaila polymetallic mine, the Baita Plai polymetallic mine (BPPM), the Piciorul Zimbrului permit and the Carlibaba Manaila extension project.
How it’s doing
A road map for moving forward with a plan to mine the Heritage concession following was established following meetings with local community leaders in Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwean parastatal Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Co (ZCDC).
The agreements concerning the Heritage diamond concession will now be directly between the Vast and the ZCDC rather than the local community, but the local community will continue to be a beneficial recipient of shared profits, as per the original agreement.
Vast has everything in place to “hit the ground running” once it finalises the agreement with the ZCDC.
As an interim financing measure, Vast agreed a US$15mln arrangement with London-based Atlas Capital Markets that saw convertible bonds issued at 90% of par value with 5% interest, of which the first cash proceeds of US$6.39mln were drawn down in January 2020 to move BPPM into production and repay creditors.
For the six months to 31 October, the mining firm reported a loss after tax of US$3.5mln, 36% less than a year ago, helped by a 19% reduction in overhead and administrative expenses.
In November, Vast re-jigged the ownership of its diamond assets in November, with consultant Botswana Diamonds taking a 2.5% stake in a special purpose vehicle in return for five years worth of free services.
In Romania, kicked off cold commissioning and a drill programme at BPPM in December and, with mine infrastructure upgraded, refurbished or replaced over the past year, capacity of up to 7,000 tonnes per month (tpm) is expected to be progressively ramped up to double that level as new equipment arrives.
First saleable concentrate is expected from BPPM in the first half of 2020.
What the CEO says: Andrew Prelea
“We enter 2020 in a far stronger position than at any time in the company’s history,” Prelea said alongside interim results in January. “We are resourced to place BPPM into production in the near future and we are well placed to execute our Zimbabwe diamond strategy as soon as the agreement with ZCDC is concluded, a process that we believe will be concluded shortly.”
- Long term finance secured for Romania assets
- Agreement signed for Chiadzwa diamond fields
- Details of Katanga JV structure
- Production begins at either Chiadzwa or in Romania