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Wolf Minerals Ltd (WLFE)

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Friday 10 May, 2013

Wolf Minerals Ltd

Debt facilities and binding offtakes completed

RNS Number : 4186E
Wolf Minerals Limited
10 May 2013
 



 

Wolf Minerals Limited

 

("Wolf" or "the Company")(ASX: WLF AIM: WLFE)

 

 

A$192M debt facilities finalised and binding offtake agreements completed for Hemerdon Tungsten Project

 

 

Wolf Minerals Limited (ASX: WLF, AIM: WLFE) ("Wolf" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that documentation has been signed for the £75 million (~A$113 million) project finance facility provided by UniCredit Bank AG, London Branch, ING Bank N.V. and Caterpillar Financial SARL, and the US$82 million (~A$79 million) funding package provided by Resource Capital Fund V L.P. ("RCF") for the Hemerdon Tungsten Project in Devon, in southwest England.

 

The finalisation of this combined funding package of ~A$192 million provides funding for Wolf to commence the Engineer Design and Procure ("EPC") contract and purchase properties required for the Hemerdon project development. It will also provide additional working capital for Wolf during the construction phase.

 

The RCF funding package will be drawn first and, as set out below, the majority of their conditions precedent have already been met. Wolf expects to have the first funds from the RCF facility by the end of May. Draw down of both facilities does remain subject to meeting standard conditions precedent for facilities of this type.

 

The Company is also pleased to advise that it has executed binding offtake agreements with Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten AG, Austria ("WBH"), and Global Tungsten & Powders Corp., Pennsylvania, USA ("GTP") for the project's tungsten production.

 

The key components of the funding packages are set out in more detail below.

 


£75 million Project Finance Facility finalised

 

Documentation has been signed with UniCredit Bank AG, London Branch, ING Bank N.V. and Caterpillar Financial SARL for £75 million (~A$113 million) in senior debt finance facilities, incorporating a £70 million term loan facility and a £5 million Bond facility.

 

Finalisation of the senior debt finance facilities comes after Credit Approval for this senior debt package was announced in November (see ASX announcement, 19 November 2012).

 

The financing structure includes a portion of the senior debt facilities being supported by a guarantee provided by the German government's Untied Loan Guarantee Scheme (Ungebundener Finanzkredit ("UFK")) and a loan guarantee under similar terms by Wolf's tungsten offtakers, Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten AG and Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. Together, these guarantees will cover approximately 50% of the senior loan facility and are subject to the final approval of the German government and related documentation.

 

The senior debt facility has a term of 7.5 years and repayments are to be made on a quarterly basis, commencing approximately six months after first production. The provision of these senior debt facilities is subject to completion of conditions precedent customary for a financing of this nature including repayment of the RCF Bridge Finance Facility.

 

US$82m RCF Funding Package

 

The US$82 million funding package provided by RCF was announced in December (see ASX announcement, 7 December 2012) and the Company is delighted to confirm that documentation in relation the package has now been finalised. The package comprises:

 

§ A 12 month secured Bridge Finance Facility of US$75M (~A$72M) from RCF, to provide funding for development activities and the commencement of construction at Hemerdon.

§ US$7M (~A$7M) consideration for the purchase of a 2% Royalty by RCF on gross revenues from all metals and minerals produced from the project.

 

The Bridge Facility has a maturity date of 12 months from the date of satisfaction of conditions precedent for the initial draw down. Bridge Facility monies are payable in full on the maturity date. The Bridge Finance Facility is secured over the Company's Hemerdon project and the Company is prevented from drawing down any further debt until it is repaid in accordance with its terms.

 

The amount available for drawdown under the Bridge Facility will initially be limited to US$40 million (~A$38M) until such time as Wolf has received material permits, licences and approvals necessary to commence construction and operation of the Hemerdon project. The US$35 million (~A$34M) balance of the Bridge Facility is available upon obtaining the required permits.

 

The initial US$40 million of the Bridge Facility will be utilised by Wolf for the purchase of properties (required to be purchased under the terms of the Hemerdon project's planning permission), design engineering, procurement, owner's development costs and general working capital.

 

Further details of the Bridge Facility are provided in the ASX announcement of 7 December 2012.

 

Binding Tungsten Offtake agreements completed

 

In addition to the finalisation of documentation for the Hemerdon Project's senior debt finance and the RCF funding package, Wolf is pleased to announce that it has executed binding tungsten offtake agreements with Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten AG, Austria ("WBH"), and Global Tungsten & Powders Corp., Pennsylvania, USA ("GTP"). These agreements are part of a joint effort between WBH and GTP to support the development of a new major tungsten mine.

 

Under the terms of the offtake agreements Wolf will supply 80% of the Hemerdon project's expected average, annual tungsten concentrate output, as outlined in the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) completed and announced in May 2011, for a period of a minimum of 5 years, extendable under mutual consent.

 

Wolf will supply wolframite concentrates grading 65% tungsten trioxide. Pricing for concentrates in the offtake agreement is calculated based upon the price published Metal Bulletin for European Ammonium Para-Tungstate (APT). A discount, on commercial terms will be applied to the prevailing European APT price, to take into account treatment charges and administration.

 

The Hemerdon mine is expected to produce an average of 345,000 mtu's of tungsten trioxide in concentrates per annum and approximately 450 tonnes of tin in concentrates per annum. To support the funding of the project, the offtakers will provide a commercial guarantee for part of the £70 million senior term loan.

 

Commenting on these latest major milestones, Wolf CEO Humphrey Hale, said:

"Wolf is delighted to finalise documentation for our senior debt funding and the RCF funding package, which both form key components of the funding required for the development of the Hemerdon Project. We are also delighted to complete binding agreements with our offtake partners, Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten and Global Tungsten and Powders, which will help bring Hemerdon in to production as the world's next major tungsten mining operation."

 

Wolf continues to work on extending the life of the project beyond the parameters set down in the DFS whilst maintaining the same production profile. Work is being undertaken to evaluate larger pits and exploring underground options. These extensions will require additional planning approvals.

 

For further details, please contact:

 

Wolf Minerals Limited

Humphrey Hale

 

+61 8 6364 3776

Investec

Chris Sim/Neil Elliot

+44 (0) 20 7597 5970

 

Newgate Threadneedle

Beth Harris/Graham Herring

+44 (0) 20 7653 9850

 

About Wolf Minerals

 

Wolf Mineral is an ASX listed and AIM listed specialty metals company focused on developing the world class Hemerdon Tungsten and Tin Project, in Devon, in the south-west of the UK. The Company holds an option over 100% of the Hemerdon project, which the Directors consider to be one of the largest undeveloped tungsten and tin resources in the western world. It is ranked as the fourth largest tungsten deposit in the world in terms of contained tungsten metal, by The British Geological Survey. The Company aims to develop the project into a large scale, open pit mining operation, which will position it as a world class tungsten and tin producer. Wolf released a positive Definitive Feasibility Study for the Hemerdon project in 2011, and it has updated planning permission for mining until 2021.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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