TRADING SYMBOL:TSX: R
TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - ROMARCO MINERALS INC. (TSX: R) (the "Company") is pleased to announce the signing of a binding commitment letter with Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, Macquarie Bank Limited and Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking (together the "Lenders") in connection with a US$200 million, 8.5-year senior secured project finance facility (the "Project Facility") for the development of the Haile Gold Mine project ("Haile") in South Carolina. Highlights of the commitment include:
- $200 million debt facility
- No mandatory gold hedging
- Interest rate of LIBOR plus 3.75% to 4.25%
- Secured by assets of Haile Gold Mine Inc. without recourse to the parent after completion
- 8.5-year tenor
Diane R. Garrett, President & CEO commented: "We are pleased that the commitment is in line with the project financing mandate agreement of US$200 million with no gold hedging requirements. This speaks to the strong endorsement of three global mining lenders for the Haile project and the economic strength of the project. As one of the lowest cost, highest grade open pit gold mines in the industry, Haile sits at the top end of the quality spectrum of gold assets having a positive Feasibility Study at US$950 gold. Together with a long term, significant institutional shareholder base, Romarco is poised to deliver value through development of the Haile project. In contemplating the financing required, management is taking a pragmatic approach to a variety of alternatives and will work in the best interest of all shareholders, stakeholders and local community. Fortunately, the uniqueness of the Haile asset lends itself well to a variety of financing alternatives particularly in the current unpredictable state of the gold market. The Company has also built flexibility into its schedule, such as extending the agreement to purchase the Caterpillar equipment into March 2015, and therefore is able to select the appropriate financing structure at the appropriate time. We are disappointed the stock is not fully reflecting the value of the Haile asset after achieving the recent and significant permitting milestones - until such time as market conditions substantially improve, the Company will take advantage of the flexibility built into the schedule before proceeding with a dilutive financing."
The commitment is valid for 120 days to reach closing and confirms that each Lender has committed to provide one third of the Project Facility, with an option to syndicate following closing. The term sheet includes customary project finance terms and conditions for fees and conditions to closing and remains subject to execution of definitive loan documentation. The Company has begun final documentation and the highlighted conditions include:
- Under the current project finance debt structure total remaining funding would be US$255 million, including US$30 million for a cost overrun facility, US$20 million for debt service reserve requirements, and approximately $20 million for interest and fees during construction
- Receipt of all environment permits and regulatory approvals for Haile, which are anticipated during the fourth quarter of 2014
The Company's most recent funding estimate to complete the Haile Gold Mine project is approximately $385 million, including initial mine project capital, wetlands mitigation, reclamation bonding, and working capital, and other start-up costs. The total funding estimate with project debt is approximately $455 million including the cost over run, debt service facility and financing fees and expenses. The Company is continuing to evaluate alternatives that may lower the overall funding requirement including other facilities, equipment lease agreements, and surety bonding, among other things.
The Company is being advised by Cutfield Freeman & Co Ltd (Financial Adviser) and Shearman & Sterling LLP (Project Finance Counsel). The Lenders are being advised by Allen & Overy LLP (Lenders' Counsel).
About Romarco Minerals Inc.
Romarco Minerals Inc. is a gold development company focused on production primarily in the US. The Company has completed a positive Feasibility study and is continuing permitting for its flagship project, the Haile Gold Mine in South Carolina.
SOURCE: ROMARCO MINERALS INC.
For further information:
Romarco Minerals Inc.
Dan Symons, Vice President, Investor Relations
E-mail: [email protected]