Thursday, December 12, 2019

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Companies 240

Written by December 04 2019 0

Medellin-based electric power giant EPM announced December 4 that insurer Mapfre has issued its first payment – totaling US$150 million – for damages to the US$5 billion, 2.4-gigawatt “Hidroituango” hydroelectric project in Antioquia.

The payment “corresponds to the figure recommended by the [insurance] adjuster according to the expenses and investments made by EPM in the recovery of the project,” according to the company.

“This first prepayment is for material damage to civil works. The company continues in the process of quantification of the damages, the replacement of equipment and the repairs of the project as it progresses in its diagnosis, design and contracting, which is permanently informed within the adjustment process.”

The Mapfre policy covers up-to-US$2.55 billion for material damage to infrastructure and equipment, plus up-to US$628 million for lost power sales due to an expected three-year delay into operation (end-2021 instead of the originally planned end-2018).

Written by December 02 2019 0

Medellin-based textile giant Coltejer revealed in a November 30 filing with Colombia’s Superfinanciera corporate oversight agency that it inked a US$65 million debt restructuring deal with Grupo MCM Colombia.

The new debt deal carries a 10% annual interest rate and runs through December 31, 2021, according to the filing.

Coltejer and fellow Colombian textile makers have been ravaged by cheap Chinese textile and clothing imports in recent years, causing financial losses and sparking debt-restructuring deals.

The company posted a COP$9.9 billion (US$2.8 million) net loss for third quarter (3Q) 2019, an improvement over the COP$19 billion (US$5.67 million) net loss for 3Q 2018.

For the first nine months (January through September) of 2019, Coltejer accumulated a COP$35 billion (US$9.98 million) net loss, worse than the COP$32.7 billion (US$9.3 million) net loss for the first nine months of 2018.

Written by December 02 2019 0

Toronto-based Continental Gold – developer of the giant Buriticá, Antioquia gold mine due for start-up in 2020 – announced December 2 that China-based Zijin Mining Group inked a C$1.4 billion/US$1 billion deal to buy 100% of Continental’s stock.

“The offer price represents a premium of 29% over Continental’s 20-day volume-weighted average price at November 29, 2019 on the Toronto Stock Exchange,” according to Continental.

Newmont Goldcorp and directors and officers of Continental collectively holding 21.5% of the outstanding Continental common shares also voted to support the Zijin buyout.

Fujian, China-based Zijin -- formed in 1993 -- specializes in gold, copper, zinc and other mineral resource exploration and development through investments in China and nine countries. Listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as of November 29, 2019 Zijin had a market capitalization of approximately US$12.13 billion, according to the company.

Commenting on the deal, Continental CEO Ari Sussman said: “The all-cash offer at a significant premium to market is an excellent outcome for our shareholders and is a testament to the extraordinary effort of the Continental team and its stakeholders in pioneering a new and modern gold industry in Colombia.

“With [gold] production on the horizon in 2020, the timing is right for Continental to sell to a more experienced mine operator and therefore Continental’s board of directors recommends that shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.”

Zijin chairman Chen Jinghe added: “Continental’s 100%-owned Buriticá project in Antioquia, Colombia is one of the largest and highest-grade gold projects in the world and represents a highly complementary addition to Zijin’s international asset portfolio.

“The Buriticá project is expected to produce approximately 250,000 ounces of gold per annum on average over a 14-year mine life at life-of-mine all-in sustaining cost of ~US$600 per ounce. We believe the sizeable, high-grade mineral resource of 16.02 metric tonne [Mt] at an average gold grade of 10.32 g/t [grams per tonne] (being a measured resource of 1.40 Mt with a gold grade of 13.70 g/t and an indicated resource of 14.62 Mt with a gold grade of 10.00 g/t) presents excellent opportunities to expand production and extend mine life.

“Continental has successfully advanced and substantially de-risked the Buriticá project with commercial production now clearly in sight and first gold pour expected in the first half of 2020. Continental also holds a sizeable and highly prospective land package in Colombia that, combined with the Buriticá project, provides Zijin with the leading position in an emerging world-class gold producing region.

“Zijin is conscious of the demonstrated responsibility of Continental’s operation towards the well-being of the local communities and the responsible management of environmental aspects of its operation. Zijin will practice in all its operations the same commitment of Continental towards transparency and ethics and will continue to operate in a highly responsible manner in Buriticá, Antioquia and Colombia more broadly,” Jinghe concluded.

Written by November 27 2019 0

Ireland-based global high-technology consultant Accenture reveals on November 29, 2019, the debut of Colombia’s first tech-demonstration “Nano Lab” -- at Medellin’s “Ruta N” technology incubation center.

“This space will immerse local customers in the latest emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, extended reality, quantum computing, robotics, cybersecurity, blockchain, among others, to help them understand how these innovations influence their future business operations,” according to Accenture.

“For example, an experience of connected mines shows how augmented reality allows users to visualize a complete mining operation with digital copies of physical assets, such as trucks and drills, running an analysis to provide data on the productivity of individual machines.

“A demonstration of the coffee supply chain shows how blockchain and smart contract technologies can be used to organize and provide transparency to the coffee value chain, recording how the beans change hands, are packaged, repackaged and how they are ground or are served,” the company added.

According to Accenture Colombia president Marco Ribas, “the Nano Lab of Accenture in Medellín offers a new way to bring innovation experiences to our customers in Colombia, allowing them to access the best innovations of Accenture Labs R&D teams worldwide.”

The Accenture global network includes an “ecosystem of allies that includes clients, startups, academic institutions and the public sector, which will join a global network of more than 50 laboratories and Nano Labs of Accenture,” according to the company.

The scheme includes artificial intelligence (AI) “process optimization and influence on strategic decision making” as well as “extended reality (XR) immersive technologies that create completely new ways for people to experience and connect with the world around them,” according to the company.

Other technologies arising in the network include “next-generation cybersecurity services to build resilience from the inside out” as well as "Internet of Things" (IoT) technologies that employ advanced sensors, robotics and machine learning, according to the company.

Written by November 26 2019 0

Medellin-based multinational utilities giant EPM announced November 25 that its 2020 capital and operating budget will hit COP$17 trillion (US$4.9 billion).

“The budget authorized by the EPM board of directors responds to a rigorous planning exercise and includes resources for the attention of the Hidroituango hydroelectric project, which in 2019 has reached important milestones in the protection of communities, care of the environment and technical recovery of this future power plant,” according to EPM.

“The budget also includes items for the expansion and replacement of electric power distribution networks and the development of aqueduct and sewage works in order to increase the coverage of services for citizens [as well as] maintain and/or improve their continuity and quality,” according to the company

The 2020 budget will be financed through three sources: cash-on-hand totaling COP$1.9 trillion/US$548 million (11%), current income from public services including electric power, natural gas, sanitation and drinking water, which in 2020 will total COP$9.8 trillion/US$2.8 billion (58%), and capital resources raised, which for next year will be COP$5.3 trillion/US$1.5 billion (31%).

“The capital resources raised include planned loan disbursements, compensation that is expected to be received from the insurer [Mapfre] for damages caused in the contingency of the Hidroituango hydroelectric project, and dividends that the company will receive from national and international subsidiaries,” according to EPM.

The EPM 2020 budget will be distributed as follows:

• Operating expenses: COP$5.9 trillion/US$1.7 billion (34%).
• Commercial operation expenses: COP$3.9 trillion/US$1.1 billion (23%).
• Investment expenses: COP$4.8 trillion/US$1.4 billlion (28%).
• Debt service: COP$1.8 trillion/US$520 million (11%).
• Cash availability: COP$600 billion/US$173 million) (4%).

EPM also aims to transfer part of its profit surpluses to the municipality of Medellín -- its sole shareholder -- totaling COP$1.3 trillion (US$375 million) during 2020.

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Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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