METALS Exploration achieved its first gold sale from the Runruno project in the Philippines late last year after gold doré produced during commissioning activities was uplifted from the project site for refining. The sale marked a major milestone in the project’s drawn-out development.

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CIL tanks at the processing plant of the Runruno Gold Project.

Mining and processing operations are ramping up soundly at the project. Metals Ex says each of the individual processes within the plant has been successfully commissioned and is being ramped up progressively to design throughputs.

It has been a long road for Metals Ex at Runruno owing to a number of permitting delays, exacerbated by a typhoon which necessitated further work.

In November, the company obtained commitments to raise approximately US$10.295 million through a placement. It chose to raise additional finance due to delays in realising revenue.

The placing shares were subscribed for by MTL (Luxembourg) Sarl, Runruno Holdings Ltd, Investec Wealth & Investment Ltd, Jarvis Nominees, Lynchwood Nominees Ltd, Sector Investments Ltd, Smith & Williamson Investment Management LLP, Winterflood Securities Ltd and HSBC Marking Name Nominee. Following the placing, MTL Luxembourg, the vehicle of property development siblings the Candy Brothers, had a 46.86% stake.

In announcing the placement Metals Ex said discussions with the current project lenders regarding the rescheduling of the Runruno debt facility were continuing. “A further waiver has been obtained to delay the principal sum of US$15 million, previously due on June 30, 2016 to be repaid on the earlier of November 30, 2016 or on successful rescheduling, to be paid over the revised principal repayment schedule.

“To date US$324,000 of interest on the deferred principal repayment has been paid to the lenders and a further US$76,000 is due to be paid on November 30.” Runruno has a US$75 million debt and $8 million cost overrun facility.

Metals Ex executive chairman Ian Holzberger said, “The Board of Directors and the company are extremely grateful for the continued support provided from its shareholders in this placement and over the last several years. Their support for the company and the project is greatly appreciated.

“We also are pleased to welcome a new shareholder, a major sector specialist institutional investor, to the company’s register. The funds raised will significantly strengthen the company as it focuses on the successful ramp-up of the Runruno processing plant to design throughput.”

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