Silvinit Gets $1.5Bln Loan for Deposit

YEKATERINBURG -- Potash miner Silvinit has secured a $1.5 billion, three-year loan from VTB that will allow it to pay for a huge deposit of the mineral fertilizer won at auction this year.

Silvinit, which supplies about 10 percent of the world's potash, bid 35.1 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) in March to secure access to the Polovodovsky license.

The firm later won approval from its shareholders to borrow up to $2 billion to pay for the license, thwarting an attempt by the owner of rival miner Uralkali -- also a one-quarter shareholder in Silvinit -- to block the debt plan.

Silvinit and VTB both announced the loan Wednesday. VTB said the loan was arranged by its London-based VTB Bank Europe unit and would be supplied to Kama Mining, the Silvinit subsidiary that won the auction.

Uralkali came second in the auction. Its billionaire majority shareholder, Dmitry Rybolovlev, said in March that he opposed Silvinit's plans to raise loans to pay for the deposit.