London Mining slumps 70%, warns shares may be worthless

London Mining, the debt-laden iron ore miner, warned that there would be little or no value remaining in its shares and other securities under the currently proposed structure, as it talks with potential strategic investors.

London Mining said while its lenders remained supportive of the talks, they were not expected to provide any further short-term funding, which would be provided by a strategic investor if the talks were successful.

Stackers load crushed iron ore onto a stockpile at an ore processing facility in Pilbara, Western Australia.
Sergio Dionisio | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Stackers load crushed iron ore onto a stockpile at an ore processing facility in Pilbara, Western Australia.

"There can be no certainty at this time on the likelihood or timing of such an investment," said the company, which operates the Marampa mine in Sierra Leone.

Like other junior iron ore miners in West Africa, London Mining is facing a perfect storm as it grapples with the deadly Ebola virus while tackling record-low prices for the commodity due to an oversupply, and stagnant demand from China - the world's top consumer.

London Mining said iron ore prices, which were at their lowest level since 2009, had put under considerable financial strain on its Marampa operations.

The company also said the Ebola outbreak in Siera Leone posed significant challenges both to the strategic investor process it began in May, and its operational performance.

"This looks like the end of the road for London Mining unless a new investor charges to the rescue," analysts at Numis Securities said in a note.

Reuters reported on Monday JSW Steel, India's third-largest steelmaker, was in talks to buy London Mining, according to two people familiar with the matter.

London Mining, whose shares have plunged 97 percent since the beginning of the year, warned last week that it did not have enough cash to operate its only mine and was in talks about a potential strategic investment - though that would involve significant equity dilution.

Shares in the company closed at 3.1 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, valuing the company at $6.9 million.

The stock, which traded above 400 pence per share in 2011, the height of the iron ore boom, started sliding since September after the company warned on its financial position. A pricing dispute with commodities trader Glencore also seems to have tipped the stock over the edge.

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