African Phosphate Announces Acquisition of Ugandan vermiculite producer
Verdant Capital continues to be highly active in the fertiliser & agri-inputs sector in Africa in 2016, following in 2015 the sale of Greenbelt Fertiliser to Yara, and the acquisition of an agri-chemicals packaging business in South Africa for global market leaders, Ipackchem Group of France.
African Phosphate has announced the acquisition of a 100% interest in Namakera Mining Company in Uganda, a vermiculite producer and previously mined phosphate asset. The Namekera vermiculite mine, formerly owned and operated by Rio Tinto, is considered one of the largest and highest quality vermiculite assets globally. Vermiculite is an industrial mineral used extensively in the agricultural sector as a fertiliser input and as a soil conditioner, as well as in the construction industry. African Phosphate is being listed on the ASX through a reverse takeover by Black Mountain, which shall be renamed African Phosphate following the completion of the process. A small institutional equity capital raise is currently underway, which will be followed by a larger equity and debt capital raise to fund the expansion of vermiculite production capacity. Feedback on the project from development finance institutions and from potential off-takers has been positive to date. In parallel with the expansion of vermiculite production, the company shall formally study options for phosphate production, including projects tailored for the local and regional market. Verdant Capital is financial advisor to African Phosphate.