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ZYL Limited Advances Financing For South African Anthracite Project, Shortlists Contenders

ZYL Limited (ASX: ZYL) is moving closer to the milestone completion of project financing for its Mbila Anthracite Project in South Africa after the company selected two preferred bidders.

The company has narrowed it down to Standard Chartered Bank and Nedbank Capital.

Ian Benning, chief executive officer of ZYL Limited, said, "Both banks have provided indicative proposals of between A$60 to $75 million, and ZYL will work with each towards development of mutually acceptable funding terms."

Importantly, both banks have been involved with a number of coal industry transactions in recent years.

Standard Chartered Bank has a presence in over 70 markets worldwide and has been in Africa for 150 years, with an established network in 16 African countries.

Nedbank Capital is the investment banking business of the Nedbank Group, one of the four largest banking groups in South Africa.

Feasibility study

A recently released Feasibility Study demonstrates the Mbila project is economically competitive with strong profit margins and a project internal rate of return of 41%.

Capital expenditure has been outlined at a reasonable A$85 million, which includes a contingency of $10.8 million. Mbila has the potential to produce a forecast phase one production rate of 580,000 saleable tonnes annually which would commence around mid-2013.

Comment

ZYL has generated strong interest in its Mbila Anthracite Project from potential project financiers as well as offtake partners.

Last month, the company fielded more expressions of interest from global mining houses to acquire 4 million tonnes of anthracite production for both its Kangwane and Mbila projects in South Africa.

This is a seven fold increase on earlier offers and indicative of the market's confidence in the two projects to become a significant supplier of anthracite.

Anthracite is prized in South Africa and export markets because of a looming shortfall of 21.7 million tonnes by 2015.

As importantly in South Africa, the expressions of interest are from parties with access to port facilities and coal terminals within Southern Africa, providing potential export market options.

The Mbila expressions of interest received so far now total 2.3 million tonnes per annum (inclusive of the 600,000 tonnes per annum announced on 3 February 2012) and exceed full planned saleable production for both Phase 1 and 2 of production.

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