THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Specialty metal exploration and development company Wolf Minerals has appointed UniCredit Bank AG (UniCredit Corporate & Investment Banking), ING Bank N.V. and Caterpillar Financial SARL to provide senior debt finance facilities totalling GBP£55 million (AUD$80.1 million).
The company will use the monies to fund the commercial development of its Hemerdon tungsten and tin project in Southwest England.
Location of the Hemerdon project. Source: Company
“The appointment of UniCredit, ING Bank and Caterpillar Financial to provide senior debt finance facilities for the Hemerdon project represents a major milestone for the company and the development of the project,” Wolf Minerals managing director Humphrey Hale said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“All three are leading providers of finance to the mining sector and their appointment provides further strong validation of the Hemerdon project’s potential to become a major specialty minerals mining operation.”
Wolf said it will use the funding to support the planned construction of the Hemerdon project, based on the recently completed Definitive Feasibility Study.
The study confirmed the robust economic viability of the project and estimated a net present value of GBP£74 million.
Wolf also said it is in continuing discussions with potential off-take partners to provide subordinated debt.
The total debt facilities will enable Wolf to minimise the equity component of the funding package required to put the Hemerdon project into production.
UniCredit Bank AG, ING Bank N.V. and Caterpillar Financial SARL were appointed following the completion of a competitive process facilitated by Optimum Capital.
This process incorporated a technical due diligence review undertaken on behalf of the financiers by Micon International and a further independent marketing study by Roskill Consulting Group.
According to Wolf this review process supported the findings of the Definitive Feasibility Study and the robust economics of the project.
Provision of the senior debt finance facilities is subject to completion of the project finance documentation and the usual credit approvals and conditions precedent customary for a financing of this nature.
The current timetable is for the lenders to obtain credit approval for the facilities in February 2012.