Agreement for US$105 million Term Loan Facility and recent equity
offering complete financing requirements for development of the Mesquite
TORONTO, April 2 /CNW/ - Western Goldfields, Inc. (TSX:WGI,
OTC BB:WGDF.OB), a gold producer focused on developing the Mesquite Mine in
Imperial County, California, today announced that, through its wholly-owned
subsidiary, Western Mesquite Mines, Inc., (the Borrower), it has entered into
a new term loan facility with Investec Bank (UK) Limited. Under the facility,
Western Goldfields will be able to borrow up to $105 million in connection
with its development of the Mesquite Mine. The agreement and the Company's
recent equity offering complete the financing requirements for the Mine. All
currency amounts are in U.S. dollars.
"This is an exciting day for Western Goldfields," said Randall Oliphant,
Chairman. "The signing of this term loan facility completes the financing
program that we undertook late last year to fund the development of the
Mesquite Mine. Together with our recently completed equity offering that
raised net proceeds of $59 million, we now have all of the funding in place to
bring the Mesquite Mine into production."
The $105 million facility comprises multiple-draw term loans maturing
December 31, 2014, of which $85 million will be available to be drawn as
required for the development of the Mesquite Mine, and the remainder will be
available for up to 12 months after completion for other corporate purposes.
Western Goldfields previously announced estimated annual production of 165,000
ounces of gold per year beginning in April 2008.
Achieving completion will require the satisfaction of financial and
technical criteria and is expected to occur in the second half of 2008. Until
completion, the facility will be guaranteed by the Company. The facility is
secured by a pledge of all of the shares of the Borrower and all of the
Borrower's assets. Repayment of the facility will be on a semi-annual basis,
commencing approximately six months from completion with mandatory prepayments
being made from excess cash flow. Interest on each advance will be charged at
U.S. LIBOR plus 2.20 percent pre-completion and 1.75 percent post-completion.
The company believes that the representations, warranties, covenants, and
events of default under the term loan facility are usual and customary for
project debt financing facilities of this type.
Terms of the financing agreement are consistent with those that the
Company announced on November 30, 2006, when it disclosed that it had signed a
mandate letter with Investec Bank (UK) Limited for project debt financing. The
availability of the funds is subject to certain conditions, including the
Borrower entering into an acceptable gold hedging program for approximately
450,000 ounces with certain lenders under the term loan facility, the
resolution of certain ancillary agreements and the delivery of usual and
customary closing documents, opinions and certificates.
"The first deliveries of the $67 million mine fleet have arrived at the
Mesquite Mine site," said Raymond Threlkeld, President and Chief Executive
Officer, "and we are moving full speed ahead with our plans to develop the
mine and to expand its reserves and resources."
Western Goldfields, Inc.
Under a new, highly experienced, and dynamic management team, Western
Goldfields is a gold producer focused on completing the expansion of its
Mesquite Mine, located in Imperial County, California, and returning the mine
to full production. Western Goldfields recently announced an increase in the
Mesquite Mine's Proven and Probable reserves to an estimated 2.77 million
ounces of gold, with Measured and Indicated resources exclusive of reserves
estimated at 1.1 million ounces. The Company is estimating average annual
production of 165,000 ounces of gold from the mine at total cost of sales of
approximately $335 per ounce commencing in April 2008.
Western Goldfields, Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and
trades under the symbol WGI, and is quoted on the OTCBB under the symbol
WGDF.OB. For further details regarding the Company, please visit
Certain statements contained in this news release may contain
forward-looking information within the meaning of the United States Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and similar Canadian legislation.
Such forward-looking statements are identified by words such as "intends",
"anticipates", "believes", "expects", and "hopes" and include, without
limitation, statements regarding the Company's plan of business operations,
financing options and the consequences thereof, potential contractual
arrangements, receipt of working capital, anticipated revenues, and related
expenditures. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be
accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from such
statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially
include, among others, those set forth in the Company's Annual Report on Form
10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2006 filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission, under the caption, "Risk Factors". Most of these factors
are outside the control of the Company. The availability of funds under the
term loan facility is subject to certain conditions, including the Borrower
entering into an acceptable gold hedging program and the delivery of usual and
customary closing documents, opinions and certificates. Investors are
cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as
otherwise required by applicable securities statutes or regulation, the
Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly these
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise.
%SEDAR: 00021587E %CIK: 0001208038
For further information:
For further information: please visit www.westerngoldfields.com, or
contact: Brian Penny, Chief Financial Officer, (416) 324-6002,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Julie Taylor Pantziris, Director, Regulatory
Affairs and Investor Relations, (416) 324-6015, email@example.com;
Richard Wertheim, Investor and Media Relations, Wertheim + Company Inc., (416)