Lucapa Diamond Company Limited (ASX: LOM) (“Lucapa” or “the Company”) notes the announcement by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa that South Africa’s National Coronavirus Command Council will impose a 21-day nation-wide lockdown commencing midnight South African time on Thursday 26 March 2020.
The lockdown will impact the ongoing operations of the Mothae kimberlite diamond mine in Lesotho (“Mothae”), particularly on the flow of essential mining supplies and services across the border from South Africa.
After discussions with its partner, the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho (“GoL”), a decision has been taken to suspend mining operations at the Mothae mine, with appropriate security measures. Mining and processing operations can be restarted relatively quickly should a decision be taken to reopen the mine in the near-term.
The lockdown imposed by the South African Government and other restrictions imposed to restrict the spread of coronavirus will potentially trigger default clauses in the Group’s loan agreements. However, as set out in the ASX announcement of 30 January 2020, Mothae is currently in discussions with the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (“IDC”) regarding the restructure of the IDC debt facility. The negotiations are at an advanced stage and the Company will update the market once concluded.
Lucapa is also in discussions with companies associated with its two biggest shareholders, New Azilian Pty Ltd and Equigold Pte Ltd, regarding their corporate loan facilities (Refer ASX announcement 30 January 2020). Lucapa will update the market once these discussions conclude.
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Source: Company websites