AQP 0.00% 25.0¢ aquarius platinum limited

Aquarius to pay $68m for half stake in ZCE Platinu

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    Aquarius to pay $68m for half stake in ZCE Platinum
    June 8 2002

    Perth's Aquarius Platinum will pay $US39 million ($67.7 million) for half of ZCE Platinum, owner of the Mimosa platinum mine in Zimbabwe.

    Funding for the acquisition, which comes into effect on July 1, will come via the issue of 6.8 million new Aquarius shares.

    Aquarius chief executive Stuart Murray said the acquisition gave the group a long-term horizon.

    "Not only will this acquisition be immediately accretive to the earnings of Aquarius shareholders, but shareholders will participate in a more valuable company in the longer term," Mr Murray said.

    The deal would increase Aquarius's current life-of-mine from 13 years to more than 30.

    Mr Murray also said the deal strengthened Aquarius's relationship with Implats, its strategic alliance partner.

    Implats took a 35 per cent stake in ZCE Platinum a year ago and Mimosa's concentrate is shipped to South Africa for smelting and refining in terms of a long-term agreement with Impala Refining Services, an Implats subsidiary.

    "Our partnership with Implats will serve as a sound basis for the strategic direction of the mine in the future," Mr Murray said.

    The Mimosa operation is increasing its annual production from 31,000 ounces to 135,000 ounces of platinum group metals by the end of 2003.

    Mr Murray said the mine also had the potential for low-cost expansion to more than 250,000 ounces per annum.

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