VANCOUVER, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - Great Basin Gold Ltd, ("Great Basin" or the
"Company"), (TSX: GBG; NYSE Amex: GBG; JSE: GBG) today announced that it has
obtained Credit approval thereby securing the finance facility for its
Burnstone Project in South Africa. The facility consists of a ZAR850 million
(US$106 million) senior debt facility and a ZAR180 million (US$23 million)
standby debt facility to be utilized for potential cost overruns.
The facilities are subject to the execution of suitable loan and security
documentation, and include conditions precedent usual for facilities of this
nature. The Company does not plan to draw down on this facility until the end
The facility will be provided by Investec Bank Limited, Nedbank Capital,
ABSA Capital (a division of Absa Bank Limited) and the Development Bank of
Southern Africa ("the Lenders") and will have a maximum term of 7 years with
interest repayment commencing December 30, 2010 and capital repayment
commencing on June 30, 2011. The senior debt facility carries interest at the
Johannesburg Interbank Agreed Rate ("JIBAR") plus a margin of 5%
pre-completion and JIBAR plus a margin of 4.5% post completion.
A hedging structure customary for facilities of this nature is required
by the Lenders and a participation collar hedge for an estimated 285,000
ounces (approximately 20% of production over the repayment term) has been
agreed upon. This structure retains the objective of a zero-cost-collar by
eliminating upfront or downstream finance cost to the Company. The Company has
retained the option to early settle the hedge structure as well as to
restructure the hedge, to the satisfaction of the hedge providers, thereby
allowing the Company increased upside participation for rising gold prices.
The hedge structure will be ZAR denominated with pricing of the structure to
be determined prior to the first draw down of the facilities.
The Company is required to contribute equity amounting to approximately
55% of the total Burnstone Project cost and deposit ZAR180 million (US$23
million) in standby equity, to be allocated to potential cost overruns, into
an escrow account under the control of the Lenders prior to first draw down.
The Company will also repay the existing ZAR200 million (US$25 million) loan
facility, as well as accrued interest of approximately ZAR30 million (US$4
million), advanced by Investec Bank Limited in July 2008 for purposes of the
Burnstone Project. The project finance facility will be secured by the assets
of the Burnstone Project, with a completion guarantee to be put in place from
Development of the Burnstone Project is well underway with multiple
access points to the mining blocks currently being established to allow for
the build-up in reef tonnage in the second half of 2009. The current Project
schedule indicates end of June 2010 as the date for mill commissioning and
first revenue to be generated in the subsequent months.
Ferdi Dippenaar, CEO and President commented; "Although the current
financial market volatility has had a significant impact on the process to
obtain final approval for the project funding facility, we are delighted that
this facility has now been secured. A major risk in completing this low cost,
long life project with a Life of Mine production of some 4.1 million ounces(1)
has now been negated. We are making good progress with the delivery of the
project with the development of the vertical shaft and metallurgical plant on
schedule for completion by June 2010. To date, approximately 11,000 ore tons
have been placed on the surface stockpile which will be used for the
commissioning of the metallurgical plant. The Burnstone project has been
subjected to significant scrutiny by the Lenders during their approval process
and the Project came out strong on every occasion. This is also testament to
the economic robustness of the Project."
No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information
contained in this news release.
Cautionary and Forward Looking Statement Information
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed
"forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than
statements of historical facts, that address possible future commercial
production, reserve potential, exploration drilling results, development,
feasibility or exploitation activities and events or developments that Great
Basin expects to occur are forward-looking statements. Although the Company
believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are
based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future
performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from
those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual
results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include
market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, and continued
availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or
business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not
guarantees of future performance and those actual results or developments may
differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For
more information on the Company, Investors should review the Company's annual
Form 40-F filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and
its home jurisdiction filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
(1) Based on proven and probable mineral reserves of 30 million tonnes
grading 4.2 g/t at a 4 g/t gold cut-off, see Great Basin News Release
dated February 10, 2009.
For further information:
For further information: on Great Basin and its gold properties, please
visit the Company's website at www.grtbasin.com or contact Investor Services:
Tsholo Serunye in South Africa, 27 (0) 11 301 1800; Michael Curlook in North
America, 1-888-633-9332; Barbara Cano at Breakstone Group in the USA, (646)