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Since 2000, CF&Co has advised on over 200 mandated transactions in more than 50 countries.

Advice may cover only one aspect of mining finance, such as securing project debt, or the development and implementation of the entire financing plan for a new project. The client could be a single asset junior miner developing its first project, or a much larger company with a portfolio of assets in different stages of development.

Following is a sample of transactions that show the breadth of CF&Co advice across the various facets of mining finance. It covers a period of huge transition – including dramatic changes to funding sources, huge shifts in demand for certain commodities, and the rise of Chinese companies as major players in the industry.

Project Finance

Advice on debt for the original US$150m development debt for the Çöpler gold project in Turkey and subsequent US$250m of senior debt, increased to US$350m, to fund a major expansion. The key issue was the constrained international debt market for Turkish ventures.

Advice on US$275m senior debt, US$265m silver stream and US$25m subordinated debt for development of the Khoemacau copper-silver project in Botswana. The key issue was minimising the new equity requirement.

Advice on A$320m financing package for development of the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project in Western Australia. Kimberley Mineral Sands is a Joint Venture between Sheffield Resources and Yanshan Steel (Yansteel). The key issue was aligning Australian Government Agency debt with commercial debt and a royalty.

Advice on the US$138m project financing for development of the Bombore Gold Project in Burkina Faso. The key issues were political risk and negotiating complex intercreditor arrangements. Funds were provided by Burkina Faso bank, Coris Bank (US$96m in local currency), Resource Capital Funds and Beedie Capital (US$35m secured convertible), and Euro Ressources (US$7m silver stream).

Advice on the US$125m project financing for construction of the Camino Rojo project in Mexico. The funds were provided by a syndicate including Pierre Lassonde, Agnico Eagle, and Trinity Capital, Orla’s key shareholders.

Advice on developing and implementing the US$200m debt and associated hedging strategy for development of the Haile gold project in USA, in a manner which did not compromise corporate options (Romarco was taken over as the financing completed).

Advice on the US$520m financing package consisting of US$225m senior debt, US$75m gold prepayment facility, US$125m stream and US$95m equity for development of the Back River gold project in Nunavut. The key issue was its technically challenging construction/operation.

Advice on developing and implementing a financing plan which enabled Dynatec to fully finance the US$2.2bn (original capex) Ambatovy Nickel Project in Madagascar, remaining the largest (40%) shareholder and operator. The solution was a joint venture with Sumitomo Corps, Kores and SNC Lavalin, which provided financial support to Dynatec by way of counter completion guarantees and subordinated debt and procured import agency finance from JBIC and Korea EXIM.

Advice on resolution of a complex issue arising under the joint venture for the Ramu River nickel project in Papua New Guinea between Highlands Pacific and MCC, a Chinese State-Owned Enterprise.

Advice to the IFC on its ultimate exit from the politically sensitive Konkola Copper Mines joint venture in Zambia with Anglo American.

Advice to Turquoise Hill Ltd regarding its position in the financing for the US$6bn Oyu Tolgoi copper project in Mongolia procured substantially by TRQ’s major shareholder, Rio Tinto Ltd.

Joint Ventures

Corporate Finance

Advice on developing and implementing the corporate debt financing strategy for the Bloom Lake iron ore project in Quebec resulting in a US$200m corporate refinancing and a subsequent US$400m expansion financing to double production.

Advice on developing and implementing a US$975m corporate funding strategy, involving high yield public debt and a syndicated bank facility and complex intercreditor arrangements to finance a 5-year funding requirement.

Advice on procuring a US$30m debt facility from Nebari Natural Resources Credit Fund to fully fund expansion of the Bauxite Hills Mine from 4 to 7Mtpa. The key issue was the limited timeframe; funds needed to be available to draw within 3 months of CF&Co’s engagement.

Advice on a trade finance facility for OK Tedi Mining Ltd to fund potential extreme inventory funding needs, and to ensure liquidity permitting BHP to exit its investment, transferring ownership to Papuan investors.

Advised Centerra on successful resolution of the dispute with the Kyrgyz Republic in relation to the Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan, resulting in the Kyrgyz Republic acquiring ownership of the mine in return for its 26% shareholding in Centerra.

Advice on the US$1.3bn sale of Exxon Mobil’s Disputada copper assets in Chile on a substantially ‘as-is, where is’ basis to Anglo American.

Advice on the acquisitions of Silmet As, a private rare earth process in Estonia, and NeoMaterials Technologies Inc, a C$1.2bn Canadian listed company with specialty metal operations especially in China space operations.

Advice to Norsemont on its sale to Hudbay Minerals Inc following a review of company’s strategic options for developing its Constancia project in Peru.

Advice on the sale of 50% investment in Coal Valley Partnership in Canada to its partner, having run a process to procure maximum value for OTPP.

Advice on the original acquisition of OJVG and associated US$135m funding strategy involving a stream and corporate debt, advice on the US$300m acquisition financing for the Massawa gold project in Senegal from Barrick Gold, and advice related to the sale of Teranga itself for US$2.3bn to Endeavour Mining.

Aquisitions & Disposals

Debt Restructuring

Advice to all the joint venture partners at Ambatovy on restructuring the joint venture arrangements and shareholder loans or capital costs increased. The revised arrangements allowed development to proceed.

Advice restructuring c. A$200m of senior debt held by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF), KfW, and KfW supported by UFK, the German state guarantee programme. The restructuring gave Kalium c. 2 years to address technical challenges as it tried to ramp-up production from the Beyondie Sulphate of Potash Project in Western Australia.

Advice on restructuring US$100m of senior secured, project debt at Mineral Park copper molybdenum mine in USA. The restructuring gave Mercator time to try to improve operating performance during a period of low metal prices.

Advice on re-financing R2.5bn of corporate debt and securing additional debt to support new underground mining plan.

Advice on the US$181m sale of the Bikita lithium mine in Zimbabwe to Sinomine Resources – the world’s top chemical producer of cesium and rubidium with lithium downstream facilities in China.

Corporate Finance: advice on developing and implementing strategies to deleverage its US$600m debt, consummating in capital injection by its second largest shareholder to become the only mining financial company listed on HKEX.

Initial advice on securing Chinese private equity to participate as 20% minority shareholders in Eldorado’s Eastern Dragon Mine in China and then selling all Eldorado’s Chinese mining investments for approximately US$1bn in aggregate to China National Gold Corporation and Yintai Resources.

Advice on financing options on its 50% owned Selwyn lead-zinc project in Canada to project partner Chihong Zinc and Germanium Co.

Advice on acquisition of strategic equity interest in AIM listed Ridge Mining Plc. and negotiation of associated Relationship Agreement.

China Business