The Zimbabwean government has granted the country's largest nickel mining company Bindura Nickel Cooperation (BNC) a prescribed asset status for its 20 million U.S. dollar bond with proceeds earmarked towards the restart of a smelter, state media reported Monday.
The report said the company will shortly seek funding for the restart of a smelter.
BNC had earlier indicated that it would seek debt finance for half of the required amount and mobilize the balance from the nickel miner's own resources.
The restart is expected to increase revenue per tonne of contained nickel between 15 percent and 20 percent, as nickel leach alloy is free from impurities such as magnesium oxide and therefore does not attract price penalties.
In addition, the smelter restart will significantly cut operating costs, the report said.
BNC is a subsidiary of Alternative Investment Market listed Pan- African commodity group, Mwana Africa Plc, an African multinational mining company based in South Africa.
Zimbabwe is one of the world's leading nickel producers. In 2014, nickel output in Zimbabwe is projected at 15,000 tonnes from 12,000 tonnes in 2013, mainly on account of recapitalization efforts and increased performance by BNC.