Junior gold firm Aureus Mining (TSE:AUE) (LON:AUE) has updated investors on its pending project financing for the New Liberty mine development in Liberia, as it has had to put back the first gold pour.
The company says a proposed US$88mln debt facility with NedBank and Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank, has now received approval from credit committees at the respective banks.
Approval from the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa is still required to close the financing, though Aureus said this is expected by the end of the month.
Aureus has also mandated a US$12mln subordinated loan from RMB Resources, a division of FirstRand Bank.
The company warned that due to short term delays in finalizing the financing it has held back on orders for some plant equipment and as a result the first gold pour has been put back to the end of the first quarter of 2015.
"Obtaining credit committee approvals for the debt facilities for the New Liberty project provides Aureus with the green light to build Liberia's first ever commercial gold mine," said chief executive David Reading.
"The overall funding cost, excluding the warrants, of approximately 6% p.a. is extremely competitive in the current market and the hedge policy commitment - contemplated to be on up to 100,000 ounces - allows the company flexibility on when to lock-in gold price protection at a prudent level.
"Obtaining credit committee approvals is a key milestone and an achievement of one of our strategic goals for 2013.
"The subordinated debt mandate further strengthens the significant backing Aureus has, as the company rapidly continues its strategy of harnessing the significant upside of our Liberian gold assets, not only at New Liberty, but also the significant gold discoveries within our mining license, including the Weaju and Ndablama deposits."
"We look forward to working with our key partners at Nedbank and RMB to complete the documentation for the facilities by December 2014 and thank them for their support."
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