TORONTO, Dec. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Roxgold Inc. (TSX.V:ROG) ("Roxgold" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has signed an updated mandate and commitment arrangement with Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking ("Societe Generale") to replace the commitment letter announced on September 30, 2014 which expired on December 25, 2014. Under the revised arrangement, Societe Generale has reconfirmed, subject to the conditions described below, its commitment to provide US$37.5 million of project finance and to act as sole Mandated Lead Arranger ("MLA") for the balance under the US$75 million facility. The commitment has been extended on the same terms as those outlined in the September 30, 2014 press release.
Credit Suisse AG has elected not to extend its previously announced commitment to provide US$37.5 million of project finance debt. Roxgold and Societe Generale are in discussions with a number of experienced project finance banks and are working toward closing the updated debt facility in Q1 2015 utilizing the extensive due diligence and documentation work already completed in 2014. As the availability of the financing facility is subject to a number of conditions precedent, including the receipt by Roxgold of the mining decree for the previously approved mining permit at Yaramoko and other standard conditions precedent for facilities of this nature including completion of due diligence by any new lender and finalization of documentation, there can be no assurance that the debt facility transaction will complete. The Societe Generale reconfirmed commitment of US$37.5 million is also subject to it arranging the balance of the US$75 million facility.
Roxgold remains well financed to pursue early works at the Yaramoko Gold Project with approximately US$42 million in cash. In addition, the Company has the ability to issue up to US$15 million in equity to its underground mining contractor, African Underground Mining Services, once underground development commences.
Notwithstanding the recent events in Burkina Faso, Roxgold has continued to make significant progress on developing the Yaramoko Gold Project. Recent highlights include the following:
- Detailed Design and Engineering has been completed;
- SAG mill being manufactured by Outotec is on schedule and is 60% complete;
- Armtec tunnel for underground mine access is now complete and awaiting shipment; and
- Design of the powerline to access the grid is complete and long lead item procurement, including tower steel and transformer, is approximately 40% complete.
In addition, the Company has made a key appointment, with Mr. Iain Cox joining Roxgold as Yaramoko's General Manager Operations.
Iain Cox is a mining engineer with significant experience in West Africa and the start-up of underground mining operations. Iain has directly relevant experience from roles performed in Ghana, Egypt, Vietnam, the Philippines, Turkey, Indonesia and Australia for companies including Newmont/Normandy, Centamin and Crew Gold. Over the last 19 years he has held senior leadership roles in development and operational phases at many underground mining projects. Mr. Cox holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Queensland as well as an MBA from Latrobe University.
Paul Criddle, Roxgold's Chief Operating Officer, commented: "We are delighted to welcome Iain to Roxgold, as he is a high caliber professional who brings a great deal of experience to the project. We are confident that he will contribute to Yaramoko's success as we continue to move forward with our development strategy."
Key early works contracts have been advanced and, pending receipt of the formal mining decree, Roxgold is in a strong position to initiate site works at Yaramoko. The Company has agreed the terms for key items of infrastructure, including the permanent camp and bulk earthworks, which will commence shortly after the award of the mining decree. Given progress on critical path items such as detailed design and engineering and the SAG mill, Roxgold remains confident that Yaramoko will be in production just over a year following the award of the mining decree.
"Despite recent challenges in Burkina Faso, Roxgold is in excellent shape for the commencement of development at Yaramoko," commented John Dorward, President and CEO. "We have a strong treasury, excellent partners in the form of AUMS and Societe Generale, and we have continued to attract experienced and motivated people to our company."
Roxgold is a gold exploration and development company with its key asset, the high grade, 100% owned Yaramoko Gold Project located in the Houndé greenstone region of Burkina Faso, West Africa. The Company is currently advancing Yaramoko's 55 Zone through permitting and, subject to making a positive construction decision, expects to commence development thereafter. Roxgold trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol ROG.
Forward Looking Statements
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release contains forward-looking information. These statements are based on information currently available to the Company and the Company provides no assurance that actual results will meet management's expectations. In certain cases, forward-looking information may be identified by such terms as "anticipates", "believes", "could", "estimates", "expects", "may", "shall", "will", or "would". Forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on certain factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, the estimation of mineral resources and mineral reserves, the realization of resource estimates and reserve estimates, gold metal prices, the timing and amount of future exploration and development expenditures, the estimation of initial and sustaining capital requirements, the estimation of labour and operating costs, the availability of necessary financing and materials to continue to explore and develop the Yaramoko project in the short and long-term, the progress of exploration and development activities, the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals, the completion of the environmental assessment process, and assumptions with respect to currency fluctuations, environmental risks, title disputes or claims, and other similar matters. While the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect.
SOURCE: Roxgold Inc.
For further information: Annelise Burke, Manager, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, 416-203-6401, [email protected]