Pluton Resources retires $19M debt after signing on for Rehabilitation Fund

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Pluton Resources (ASX: PLV) has become the first ASX-listed company to ‘opt in’ to the Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) initiative of the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP).

By doing so the company has been able to immediately retire its $19 million Environmental bond.

Pluton has been approved by the Department of Mines and Petroleum to have its bonds retired against specific criteria and has since made the necessary levy payment to the MRF.

The DMP has written to both Pluton and HSBC, being the holding bank of the bond, advising them that the bond is no longer required.

Pluton has now received the bonds from the DMP and delivered them to HSBC for cancellation against a $19 million facility, which is part of the company’s $24 million debt funding arrangement with General Nice Recursos Comercial Offshore De Macau Limitida (GNR).

Pluton indicated it is now in discussions with GNR regarding a proposed change to the ‘use of funds’ under the GNR debt funding arrangement.

The company said the proposed changes will assist it to complete necessary works as well as providing funds for the commencement of drilling programs.

“We are extremely pleased to have secured the retirement of our $19 million Environmental bond,” Pluton Resources chief executive officer Brett Clark said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“This is an important element of the self-help program we are currently working on to satisfy our short term funding requirements.

“We think the Mining Rehabilitation Fund is an important step forward for all relevant junior mining companies, freeing up much needed capital in these difficult times and we will work closely with the DMP in the years to come.”