MINERAL AND FINANCIAL INVESTMENTS LIMITED
Investment Update: Ascendant Appoints Banco Santander S.A. as Lead Arranger for Proposed Export Credit Agency Supported Project Financing at Lagoa Salgada Project
· Ascendant appoints Banco Santander S.A. as Sole Mandated Lead Arranger for the proposed Lagoa Salgada Polymetallic project ("Project") financing.
· The funding would be up to US$158m in potential project financing with a potential term of 7.5 years, for the Project.
· Proposed funding would cover 70% of the projects expected capital requirement.
· The UK Export Credit Agency is expected to support the project financing.
· Export Credit Agency Support provides political and commercial guarantees to project lenders, thus lowering project risk to the lender and resulting in lower costs of capital.
Camana Bay, Cayman Islands - 6 December 2023 - Mineral and Financial Investments Limited (LSE-AIM: MAFL) ("M&F" "MAFL" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on its investments in Redcorp Empreedimentos Mineros Lda ("Redcorp") and Ascendant Resources Inc. ("Ascendant") which are developing the Lagoa Salgada Polymetallic Project in Portugal. The Project is being managed by Ascendant. M&F owns a conditional 20% carried interest in Redcorp and Ascendant owns the balance (please see the announcement dated 28 November 2022 for further details). Ascendant has informed M&F that further to the announcement on 18 October 2023, that in relation to the Export Credit Agency ("ECA") Supported Project financing of up to US$158 million, Ascendant has appointed Banco Santander, S.A. ("Santander") as Mandated Lead Arranger ("MLA") for the Lagoa Salgada Project in Portugal.
As announced on 5 September 2023, Ascendant, together with its advisors SD Capital Advisory Ltd and GKB Ventures Ltd ("S&G"), initiated a tender process to solicit interest from several global project finance banks to act as MLA for Ascendant's projects. As a result of this competitive process the Directors understand that Ascendant received several compelling bids. Together with Ascendant's advisors the bids were evaluated based on ECA project finance experience, execution capabilities and ultimately the financial terms for the project financing. Santander is a well-respected global institution with extensive experience in ECA financing, a significant presence in Portugal and a longstanding relationship with UKEF. The Directors understand that this, together with the competitive and compelling terms presented for the financing were the basis for Ascendant awarding the mandate to Santander.
The UK Export Credit Agency ("UKEF") backed facility is expected to be for up to US$158 million on a non-recourse project financing basis for a total tenor of 7.5 years; but there can be no guarantee this will be achieved. If secured this funding would cover 70% of the expected project capital expenditures for the Lagoa Salgada Project.
As is common for ECA supported Project Financing, UKEF provides political and commercial guarantees to project lenders, thereby lowering the overall project risk to the lender and resulting in lower costs of capital. This reduces the cost of debt to Ascendant whilst at the same time extending tenors and creating debt capacity not normally available in the commercial bank market. To secure such support, project developers commit to a pre agreed level of procurement from UK based organizations for goods, services and materials. UKEF's mandate is to promote and support exports from British companies in the global market.
The appointment of the MLA is on an exclusive basis and sets out the indicative terms upon which the proposed ECA financing is expected to be based. For the avoidance of doubt, the terms are purely indicative and do not constitute an offer of finance or a legally binding commitment of any kind to provide finance. The provision of any binding offer is subject to, among other things: credit and other internal approvals; E&S approvals; satisfactory due diligence and documentation; satisfaction of Know Your Client ("KYC") requirements and other terms customary for this type of transaction.
The conclusion of Project financing remains subject to the granting of construction permits, due diligence, amongst other requirements, the appointment of Santander as MLA is a significant milestone for the Project financing of the Lagoa Salgada Project. At Lagoa Salgada, work continues to advance the permitting over the coming months. Redcorp and Ascendant are preparing the issuance of its 43-101 Feasibility Study for the Lagoa Salgada project and once completed will commence comprising of a formal due diligence period before an anticipated final binding offer and documentation.
Further updates will be provided as required.
About Banco Santander S.A.
Banco Santander, S.A is a Spanish multinational financial services company based in Madrid and Santander in Spain. Additionally, Santander maintains a presence in all global financial centers as the 17th-largest banking institution in the world. Although known for its European banking operations, it has extended operations across North and South America, and more recently in continental Asia. It is considered a systemically important bank by the Financial Stability Board.
Santander has been designated as a Significant Institution since the entry into force of European Banking Supervision in late 2014, and consequently is directly supervised by the European Central Bank.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Jacques Vaillancourt, Mineral & Financial Investments Ltd. +44 780 226 8247
Katy Mitchell and Sarah Mather, WH Ireland Limited +44 207 220 1666
Jon Belliss, Novum Securities Limited +44 207 382 8300
The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 (MAR) as in force in the United Kingdom pursuant to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. Upon the publication of this announcement via Regulatory Information Service (RIS), this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.