First Drawdown on New Liberty Project Finance Loan Facilities of US$ 100 Million
TSX : AUE
AIM : AUE
TORONTO, April 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Aureus Mining Inc. (TSX: AUE / AIM: AUE) ("Aureus" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that all conditions precedent have been satisfied to facilitate the first drawdown on the project finance loan facilities of US$ 100 million provided by Nedbank Limited ("Nedbank"), FirstRand Bank Limited acting through its Rand Merchant Bank division ("RMB") and RMB Resources (collectively, the "Banks") and supported by the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa Limited ("ECIC"). The Company intends to drawdown approximately US$ 32 million immediately. These loan facilities will finance the development of the Company's New Liberty Gold Project ("New Liberty" or "the Project"), located within the Southern Block of the Company's 100% owned Bea Mountain Mining licence in Liberia.
The first drawdown represents the start of New Liberty construction costs being funded by the Banks; this follows the Company's own contribution on the Project development costs, which primarily comprised the earthwork and civil construction costs, engineering and design costs and long lead mechanical equipment costs. New Liberty's development has been successful to date and most recently progressed onto the construction of the plant, with steel works having already commenced.
The project finance loan facilities comprise an US$ 88 million project finance loan facility agreement (including an US$ 8 million cost overrun facility) with Nedbank and RMB and a subordinated loan facility agreement for US$ 12 million with RMB Resources. The overall interest cost for the project finance loan facilities is c.6%.
Commenting on the first drawdown on the project finance loan facilities, David Reading, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aureus Mining, said:
"Satisfying the conditions precedent for the project finance loan facilities is another key milestone achievement for Aureus in the development of Liberia's first commercial gold mine. We have made good progress to date with construction at New Liberty and with the drawdown of what is a very compelling finance package we look forward to completing the construction and pouring first gold in Q1 2015. We are delighted to be working with Nedbank, RMB, ECIC and RMB Resources as key partners in providing the debt component for the New Liberty Project."
About Aureus Mining Inc.
The Company's assets include the New Liberty gold deposit in Liberia (the "New Liberty Gold Project," "New Liberty" or the "Project"), which has an estimated proven and probable mineral reserve of 8.5 Mt with 924,000 ounces of gold grading 3.4 g/t and an estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 9,796 Kt with 1,143,000 ounces of gold grading 3.63 g/t and an estimated inferred mineral resource of 5,730 Kt with 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 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 and debt funding requirement. The foregoing mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated July 3, 2013 and entitled "New Liberty Gold Project, Liberia, West Africa, Updated Technical Report."
The New Liberty Gold Project is located within the Southern Block of the 100% owned Bea Mountain mining licence. This licence covers 457 km² and has a 25 year, renewable, mineral development agreement. The Northern Block of the Bea Mountain mining license also hosts additional gold projects of Ndablama, Gondoja and Weaju, which are the focus of exploration programs during 2013. Ndablama has an inferred mineral resource of 6,829 Kt with 451,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t and Weaju has an inferred mineral resource of 2,680 Kt with 178,000 ounces of gold grading 2.1 g/t. The Archaen Gold exploration licence, which covers 89 km², is also a focus of exploration for 2013, with Leopard Rock being the main target. The Yambesei (759 km2), Archaen West (112.6 km2), Mabong (36.6 km2) and Mafa West (15.6 km2) licences will also be subject to preliminary reconnaissance geological work. The foregoing mineral resource estimates and additional information in connection therewith are set out in the Company's technical report dated November 11, 2013 and entitled "Ndablama and Weaju Gold Projects, Bea Mountain Mining Licence, Northern Block, Technical Report on Mineral Resources."
The Company also has gold exploration permits in Cameroon.
The estimates of mineral Resources for the 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 is David Reading, who holds a 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 approves this press release.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain information in this news release relating to Aureus Mining is forward-looking and related to anticipated events and strategies. When used in this context, words such as "will", "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "intend", "target" and "expect" or similar words suggest future outcomes. By their nature, such statements are subject to significant 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; regulatory and government decisions; the possibility that future drawdowns under the Facilities may not be available; construction of the New Liberty Gold Project being delayed and/ or over budget; economic conditions; availability and cost of financing; estimates of capital and operating costs and start-up costs; plans regarding construction activities; and future unforeseen liabilities and other factors including, but not limited to, those listed under "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form, a copy of which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and in the Aureus Mining Admission Document, a copy of which is available at www.aureus–mining.com. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as actual results could differ materially from the plans, expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable law, Aureus Mining 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.
Any mineral resource and mineral reserve 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 the Company believes that the mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates in respect of its properties are well established, by their nature mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on the Company. 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. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
SOURCE Aureus Mining Inc.For further information: Aureus Mining Inc., David Reading / Paul Thomson, Tel: +44(0) 20 010 7690; Buchanan, Bobby Morse / Gordon Poole, Tel: +44(0) 20 7466 5000; Numis Securities Limited (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker), John Prior / James Black, Tel: +44(0) 20 7260 1000; GMP Securities Europe LLP (Joint Broker), Richard Greenfield / Alexandra Carse, Tel: +44(0) 20 7647 2800