ECIC approves US$88 million Project Debt Finance Facility
September 23, 2013Back
23 September 2013
Aureus Mining Inc.
TSX : AUE
AIM : AUE
ECIC approves US$88 million Project Debt Finance Facility
Aureus Mining Inc. (TSX: AUE / AIM: AUE) (“Aureus” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the credit committee and the Board of Directors of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa SOC Limited (“ECIC”) have now approved export credit support for the US$88 million Project Debt Finance Facility to fund the development of the New Liberty Gold Project (the “Project”) in the Republic of Liberia. The Project Debt Finance Facility is being provided by Nedbank Ltd, acting through its Nedbank Capital division (“Nedbank”) and Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited (“RMB”) (collectively, “the Banks”) and is backed by the ECIC.
Following the Banks credit committee approvals as announced on 12 September 2013, the ECIC approval announced today completes all the approvals required for the Project Debt Finance Facility. Project Debt Finance Facility documentation is targeted for completion in Q4 2013 with the first draw-down anticipated in the first half of 2014.
The ECIC support encompasses 100% political risk coverage and 85% commercial risk coverage for the Banks in respect of the Project Debt Finance Facility. As part of the conditions of the Project Debt Finance Facility, at least US$44 million of the New Liberty capital cost must be sourced from South Africa.
Commenting on the ECIC approval, David Reading, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aureus, said:
“The ECIC’s support in financing the Project Debt Finance Facility is the final step in facilitating the construction of the New Liberty Gold Project and creating Liberia’s first commercial gold mine. We look forward to working with the ECIC, Nedbank and RMB during our transformation from a developer to becoming a fast growth gold producer in what is an exciting new gold district in West Africa.”
|Aureus Mining Inc.
David Reading / Paul Thomson
Tel: +44(0) 20 7010 7690
Bobby Morse / Gordon Poole
Tel: +44(0) 20 7466 5000
|RBC Capital Markets (Nominated Advisor and Joint Broker)
Martin Eales / Richard Hughes
Tel: +44(0) 20 7653 4000
|GMP Securities Europe LLP (Joint Broker)
Richard Greenfield / Alexandra Carse
Tel: +44(0) 20 7647 2800
The estimates of mineral Resources for the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) were calculated in accordance with NI 43-101 and carried out by Chris G Arnold BSc (Hons), MSc, MAusIMM (CP) of independent consultants AMC. The Reserve Study for the DFS was prepared by Mr M Staples of AMC, a Qualified Person for the purposes of the study under the standards set forth by National Instrument 43-101 “Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Project”, of the Canadian Securities Administrators (“NI 43-101″).
The Company’s Qualified Person responsible for preparing this release, other than as detailed above in respect of the DFS, is David Reading, who holds an MSc in Economic Geology from University of Waterloo, Canada and is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. David Reading is the President and CEO of Aureus Mining Inc. and consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which it appears and confirms that this information is accurate and not false or misleading.
About Aureus Mining Inc.
The Company’s assets include the New Liberty gold deposit in Liberia (the “New Liberty Gold Project” or the “Project”), which has an estimated proven and probable reserve of 924,000 ounces of gold grading 3.4 g/t and an estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.63 g/t and an estimated inferred mineral resource of 593,000 ounces of gold grading 3.2 g/t. A Definitive Feasibility Study has been completed on the Project and construction has commenced with initial earthworks. The Project is expected to have an 8 year mine life and annual production of 119,000 ounces for the first 6 years of production. The Company has financed the Project’s equity funding requirement, has mandated two banks for a project debt facility that have received credit committee approval, and has mandated one bank for a subordinated debt facility.
The New Liberty Gold Project is located within the 100% owned Bea Mountain mining licence, which covers 457 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Bea Mountain mining license also hosts the proximal gold targets of Ndablama, Gondoja and Weaju, which are the focus of exploration programs during 2013. The contiguous Archaen Gold exploration licence, which covers 89 km², is also a focus of exploration for 2013, with Leopard Rock being the main target.
The Company also has gold exploration permits in Cameroon.
This press release contains certain forward-looking information. All information, other than information regarding historical fact, that addresses activities, events or developments that Aureus believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future is forward-looking information. Forward-looking information contained in this press release includes, but may not be limited to, the future plans and objectives of Aureus and their anticipated future growth, mineral resource estimates and the anticipated exploration and development activities of Aureus. The foregoing and any other forward-looking information contained in this press release reflects the current expectations, assumptions or beliefs of Aureus based on information currently available to Aureus. With respect to the forward-looking information contained in this press release, Aureus has made assumptions regarding, among other things: general business, economic and mining industry conditions; and it has also been assumed that no material adverse change in the price of precious and/or base metals occurs, no unusual geological or technical problems occur and no significant events occur outside of the normal course of Aureus’ respective business.
Such forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including: risks normally incidental to exploration and development of mineral properties; uncertainties in the interpretation of results from drilling and test work; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with expectations; uncertainty of mineral resources estimates; adverse changes in precious and/or base metal prices; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors including, but not limited to, those listed under “Risk Factors” in the Preliminary Prospectus of Aureus Inc. dated April 20, 2011, a copy of which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and in the Aureus Admission Document, a copy of which is available at www.aureus–mining.com.
Any mineral resource figures referred to in this press release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of minerals will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While Aureus believes that the mineral resource estimates in respect of their respective properties are well established, by their nature mineral resource estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such mineral resource estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on Aureus, as applicable. Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration.
Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable law, Aureus disclaims any obligation to update or modify such forward-looking information, either as a result of new information, future events or for any other reason.