JOHANNESBURG – TSX-V-listed GoviEx Uranium has received expressions of interest from export credit agencies and project finance banks to arrange $220-million of senior debt financing for the construction of the Madaouela uranium project, in Niger.
This followed the earlier appointment of Medea Capital Partners as project debt adviser and is in line with the Africa-focused exploration and development company’s four-step strategy to advance Madaouela towards a production decision.
“The level of interest shown by the export credit agencies and the banks to provide financing accretes confidence in the Madaouela project. We will now proceed to the detailed due diligence phase with the various groups, while, at the same time, moving forward on the other parts of our four-stage strategy,” said GoviEx executive chairperson Govind Friedland.
The company is reviewing the expressions of interest with a view to enter into discussions with the lenders to determine the appointment of mandated lead arrangers to execute the project debt financing.
The potential lenders outlined key conditions, including the release of the bankable feasibility study for the project, ensuring long-term offtake contracts are in place from creditworthy nuclear utility counterparties and export credit agency insurance cover being in place.
GoviEx is currently focused on implementing its integrated four-step strategy, which includes debt finance structuring, including engagement of various export credit agencies; project optimisation and the completion of detailed engineering; offtake structuring; and project equity financing.
Based on GoviEx’s 2015 integrated development plan, the fully-permitted Madaouela project represents a proposed base case envisioning production of 2.69-million pounds a year triuranium octoxide (U3O8) yellowcake over an 18-year mine life, and a total production of 45.6-million pounds a year U3O8 with forecast cash operating costs of $24.49/lb U3O8, excluding royalties.
The expressions of interest remain subject to final due diligence, credit committee and board approvals and negotiation of final loan documentation.
Source: Mining Weekly