Stonegate Agricom Arranges $7.5 Million Loan Facility with Sprott Resource Corp. to Advance Permitting at the Paris Hills Phosphate Project
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TORONTO, July 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Sprott Resource Corp. ("SRC" or the "Company") (TSX: SCP) jointly announced today with Stonegate Agricom Ltd. ("Stonegate" or the "Company") (TSX: ST) that they have signed a commitment letter whereby SRC, through Sprott Resource Partnership, will provide Stonegate with a $7.5 million loan facility ("Facility") for up to an 18-month term at an interest rate of five (5) percent per annum. The funds will be used for general working capital purposes, including Stonegate's environmental permitting activities at its Paris Hills Phosphate Project in Idaho.
"The provision of the Facility on terms acceptable to Stonegate demonstrates the strong commitment that SRC, our largest shareholder, has for the development of an underground phosphate mine at Paris Hills," said Mark Ashcroft, Stonegate's President and Chief Executive Officer.
"Prior to arranging this Facility, Stonegate estimated that it had sufficient cash to finance the completion of a bankable Feasibility Study at Paris Hills by the end of 2012 and corporate expenses for 2013, which is in keeping with the schedule for the project set out by the Company when it raised funds for the first time through an initial public offering in April 2010. However, in order to proceed with further development of the project beyond completion of the Feasibility Study, we require additional funds. Given the positive results of the Pre-Feasibility Study announced on March 26, 2012 and the encouraging response from potential customers, Stonegate has decided to move forward with additional financing through a loan facility at this time rather than wait until the Feasibility Study is completed.
"These additional funds will allow Stonegate to proceed this summer and fall with the hydrology studies and other preparatory work required to obtain environmental permits for the project. We expect to complete the permitting process in approximately two years. In the meantime, Stonegate intends to explore possible financing arrangements for the construction and operation of the planned mine," Mr. Ashcroft stated.
SRC currently owns 46,912,000 Stonegate common shares, or 32.5% of total outstanding shares, and 6 million warrants to acquire additional common shares, exercisable at $1.50 per share until April 28, 2013.
"We are pleased to be able to provide this Facility to Stonegate in order to further the advancement of the Paris Hills Project," said Kevin Bambrough, President and CEO of SRC. "We will continue to provide financial support, as appropriate, to all our portfolio companies, including Stonegate, to ensure that they can achieve their desired objectives and maximize shareholder value."
The Facility is non-callable, carries an annual interest rate of five (5) per cent payable monthly in arrears, and is due to be repaid within 18 months from the closing of the Facility. The closing is subject to the completion of customary documentation and is expected within 30 days of the commitment letter. There are no standby fees, commitment fees or warrants associated with the transaction. The Facility is subject to the approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).
The Paris Hills deposit ranks as one of the highest-grade phosphate deposits in the Americas and is well situated to supply fertilizer manufacturers in North America and Asia. On March 26, 2012, Stonegate announced the results of a positive Pre-Feasibility Study for the development of an underground mine in the Lower Phosphate Zone of the Paris Hills Project that will produce a direct shipping phosphate rock concentrate that meets or exceeds typical industry standards. A bankable Feasibility Study is planned for release by the end of 2012. In addition, the Company plans to announce revised Mineral Resource estimates for Paris Hills in the second half of 2012.
Additional technical information on the Paris Hills Phosphate Project, including the results of the Pre-Feasibility Study for the Lower Phosphate Zone, is contained in the report entitled "NI 43-101 Technical Report Paris Hills Phosphate Project Bloomington, Idaho, USA" dated March 26, 2012 and in the Company's annual information form dated March 29, 2012.
About Stonegate Agricom Ltd.
Stonegate, which is actively engaged in acquiring and developing agricultural nutrient projects, is currently focused on the development of two potentially world-class, long-life phosphate deposits, the Paris Hills Phosphate Project located in Idaho and the Mantaro Phosphate Project located in Peru. Stonegate is confident that the two deposits have sufficient size and grade to become strategic, cost-effective sources of phosphate supply for major fertilizer producers. More information is available at www.stonegateagricom.com.
About Sprott Resource Corp.
SRC is a Canadian-based company, the primary purpose of which is to invest and operate in natural resources. Through acquisitions, joint ventures and other investments, SRC seeks to provide its shareholders with exposure to the natural resource sector for the purposes of capital appreciation and real wealth preservation. SRC is well positioned to draw upon the considerable experience and expertise of both its Board of Directors and Sprott Consulting LP (SCLP), of which Sprott Inc. is the sole limited partner. Pursuant to a management services agreement between SCLP and SRC, SCLP provides day-to-day business management for SRC as well as other management and administrative services. SRC invests and operates through Sprott Resource Partnership (SRP), a partnership between SRC and Sprott Resource Consulting Limited Partnership, an affiliate of SCLP which is the managing partner of SRP.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable law, which include statements herein relating to the potential to increase mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates. Generally, forward-looking statements and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". All forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are based on reasonable assumptions that have been made by the Company as at the date of such information. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, including but not limited to: risks relating to assumptions used in preparation of the Pre-Feasibility Study on the Lower Phosphate Zone of the Paris Hills Phosphate Project including government regulation, phosphate prices, labour costs and capital costs, completion of documentation for the $7.5 million Loan Facility and project risks including a project location, permitting requirements, project delays, ground control and dilution and water management; the general risks associated with the speculative nature of the Company's business, commodity prices, current global financial conditions, uncertainty of additional capital, price volatility, the Paris Hills is an advanced exploration stage project, limited operating history, no history of earnings, government regulation in the mining industry, environmental risks and hazards, impending climate change legislation, required approvals and permits, foreign subsidiaries, risks relating to the retention of the Paris Hills project, expiration of leases and permits for the Paris Hills Project, title to mineral properties, obtaining and converting mineral concessions and surface rights, community relations and project support, water rights, exploration, development and operating risks, uncertainty in the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, uncertainty of inferred mineral resources, mineral exploration, reliability of historical exploration work, absence of public trading market, risks associated with having a controlling shareholder, arbitrary offering price, dilution to the common shares, dependence on key personnel, currency fluctuations, insurance and uninsured risks, competition, legal proceedings, conflicts of interest and lack of dividends as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recently filed annual information form available at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements or information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. The forward-looking statements and forward-looking information contained in this press release are included for the purpose of providing investors with information to assist them in understanding the offering as well as the Company's expected financial and operational performance and may not be appropriate for other purposes. SRC and Stonegate do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement or forward-looking information that is included herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
For further information:
Vice President, Investor Relations
Stonegate Agricom Ltd.
Renmark Financial Communications Inc.
Chief Financial Officer
Sprott Resource Corp.
200 Bay Street, Suite 2750
Tel: (416) 977-7333
Fax: (416) 977-9555