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Vast in crisis after $5.5 million loan pulled

Vast Resources (AIM:VAST) shares plunged 30% after the company said it would not get a long-planned US$5.5 million financing, just a day after saying the cash was still coming.
Vast in crisis after $5.5 million loan pulled Vast in crisis after $5.5 million loan pulled Vast in crisis after $5.5 million loan pulled Vast in crisis after $5.5 million loan pulled Vast in crisis after $5.5 million loan pulled

Vast's Baita Plai funding plans have gone off the rails

The bad news for shareholders of the Zimbabwe and Romania-focused miner piled up on Friday afternoon, with lender Bergen Global Opportunity Fund calling on conversion rights worth $500,000, meaning Vast must issue 164 million new shares.

The $5.5 million tranche B money was to get the Baita Plai polymetallic mine in Romania up and running, the Manaila operation, and on diamond exploration in Zimbabwe. 

Vast said on Thursday it still expected to receive the money.

On Friday, the miner said it would not get the funding and directors were "urgently pursuing other potential offers of finance".

Vast's shares fell 30% on the news to 0.19p (US0.24c).

The Bergen issue comes from a $3 million bridging loan deal from December.

The financier was blocked from turning the debt into equity until January 17.

This month Vast is also asking shareholders to lift a limitation on issuing shares for working capital, which it said it needed on top of the expected $5.5 million.

"The company has been required to bear the ongoing dewatering costs [at Baita Plai] during the wait period, and at the same time the Mercuria Tranche B finance has been deferred which has impacted on needed capex expenditure on [operating mine] Manaila," the company said on January 15.

"But the most important impact has been the delay in generation of cash flow from Baita Plai when in production a matter which is critical to the company's budget.

"As at the date that this letter is printed Tranche B of funding from Mercuria, amounting to $5.5m, is expected very shortly. However, on account of the factors mentioned above caused by the delay in the right to mine and also because of increased development capital required by the accelerated move to full production, additional capital and hence additional authority will be required."