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I apologise. I was wrong. It’s crunch time for Metals Exploration (MTL), the Philippines goldmine, whose deadline for renegotiation of its bank loans is at the end of this week. The moratorium on the loans has been extended twice and the word in the debt market is that the banks, HSBC and BNP Paribas, have run out of patience.
Metals Exploration (MTL), the gold producer in the Philippines, has announced an agreement to reschedule payments of $63.3 million to its bankers, HSBC and Paribas, concluding on 31 December next year.
Okay I have not always called Metals Exploration (MTL) correctly. But ten days before Christmas I suggested punters looking at Metals Exploration should, in the immortal words of Perry Como, catch a falling star and put it in their pocket. Since then the shares have nearly trebled.
Catch a falling knife, more like it, you might say applies to investment in Metals Exploration (MTL) where I admit that my buy tips/average down advice to date has not enriched anyone. What a never ending fuck up and yet, having got it so badly wrong I still haven’t given up hope. “:Bonkers,” you say, especially after the shares slumped 90% last week after an institutional holder, believed to be Blackrock, dumped its entire holding of 68 million shares at just 0.2p.
My last update on Metals Exploration (MTL) was greeted with a yawn and, such is the credibility gap - for the company if not my commentary on it as this has been a duff share tip - the shares have yet to add any lustre to the gold coming out of the ground. Yet along with year end figures last Thursday the company has confirmed that its BIOX treatment plant, after so many hitches, is now working fully up to speed.
Having stumbled badly on my, hitherto disastrous, share tip for Metals Exploration (MTL) in the summer of 2016 I stuck my neck out - correctly as it turns out - at the beginning of this month by a renewed tip for the accident-prone Philippines gold producer.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast though it has been tested to destruction for those who ever invested in gold miner, Metals Exploration (MTL). In the late summer of 2016 I thought the worst of iis woes were over. I was wrong for which humble apologies.
The political clouds are lifting over Philippines gold miner Metals Exploration (MTL). The Manila Times reported last week that the Runruno mine has been granted permission “to start full commercial operation before the end of this year after it has complied with the necessary corrective measures”. And the tough new Department of Environment Secretary, Regina Paz Lopez, is quoted as saying that the Bureau of Mines, when granting the company its certificate had proved “a way to identify responsible miners.” With her imprimatur investors can afford to smile.
An aborted attempt to take the company private, typhoons, a nightmare fear of political intervention and nervous creditors threatening to pull the plug, there has been little left to the imagination for shareholders, or what’s left of them, to endure at Metals Exploration (MTL).
You can never discount the possibility of a slip twixt cup and lip when dealing with bankers, particularly in these troubled times. Hence the extraordinary announcement from Metals Exploration (MTL) about an emergency requirement for cash just 48 hours after reporting progress at the mine head in bringing gold on stream.
Five years ago, the Candy brothers tried to take Metals Exploration (MTL), a promising gold play in the Philippines, private at 13p. Now, at long last, after a super typhoon wrecked its chances of coming on stream last September and the shares hit a 4p nadir in March (when shareholders were obliged to stump up a further $5 million at 3p to keep the project financiers happy), the company looks on the cusp of making serious returns.
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