IFC equity financing supports Liberia gold mine through Ebola crisis

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 17, 2015 /CNW/ - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it has invested approximately £5.3 million (C$10 million) in Aureus Mining to support an optimized plan for the New Liberty mine project in Liberia in the wake of the Ebola crisis. Prior to the transaction, IFC owned 12.8% of the issued and outstanding shares of the company on a fully diluted basis. The equity financing will help Aureus Mining cope with additional costs resulting from having continued its operations through the outbreak, and support the company's ongoing work in Liberia, a country actively seeking to use its natural resources for long term economic growth.

Under the terms of the investment, made by way of private placement, IFC subscribed for 29,239,766 common shares at a price of £0.18 per common share (C$0.34) for aggregate consideration of approximately £5.3 million (C$10 million). The investment increases IFC's holdings in Aureus Mining to 17.42% of the issued and outstanding common shares of the company calculated on a fully diluted basis. The IFC investment was made in connection with a brokered private placement for aggregate proceeds of £4.4 million (C$8.3 million). IFC's investment follows an US$11.1 million equity investment previously made in July 2014. IFC is also providing environmental and social advice to Aureus as it works to complete the project and continues additional exploration work in Liberia.

Aureus Mining continued to work to develop New Liberty – Liberia's first commercial goal mine – throughout the Ebola crisis that struck the country. It estimates the outbreak resulted in about US$18 million in additional direct and indirect costs for the project.

The New Liberty gold project is Liberia's first commercial gold mine with significant development potential for the country. It entails the construction of a greenfield open pit gold mine located in the Grand Cape Mount County of northwest Liberia. In addition to paying revenues to the government, the project is expected to provide 300 jobs in a remote region of the country.

"We are delighted to have this additional support from IFC which will allow us to continue the development of the New Liberty Project despite the challenges posed by the Ebola outbreak. It is an endorsement of the tireless work of our construction and operations teams and we look forward to continuing to work to deliver benefits to Liberia and our shareholders," said David Reading, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aureus Mining.

"IFC anchored this additional investment in Aureus because we feel the company's updated mine plan makes sound financial sense. Aureus has demonstrated its ability to handle adversity by continuing to build its project throughout the Ebola crisis, and continuing with its innovative community engagement programs. We look forward to successful mine completion later this year," said Tom Butler, IFC Global Head of Mining.

Depending on market and other conditions, IFC may from time to time increase or decrease its holdings of common shares or other securities of Aureus Mining.

This news release is issued pursuant to National Instrument 62-103 – The Early Warning System and Related Take-Over Bid and Insider Reporting Issues of the Canadian Securities Administrators, which also requires an early warning report to be filed with the applicable securities regulators containing additional information with respect to the foregoing matters.

A copy of the early warning report in respect of this transaction will be available at www.sedar.com.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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SOURCE International Finance Corporation

For further information: In Washington, D.C.: Laura MacInnis, Phone: + 1 (202) 473-6978, E-mail: lmacinnis@ifc.org; In Dakar, Senegal: Zibu Sibanda, Phone: +221 33 859 7117, E-mail: zsibanda@ifc.org


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