Robert Friedland, Executive Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN)(OTCQX:IVPAF), and Lars-Eric Johansson, President and Chief Executive Officer, announced today that the company has appointed another two leading mine-financing institutions – KfW IPEX-Bank (KfW IPEX-Bank), a German government owned institution, and the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK) – as Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers (IMLAs) to arrange debt financing for the ongoing development of the company’s Platreef platinum-group metals, nickel, copper and gold mine in South Africa.
KfW IPEX-Bank and SEK join the initial three IMLAs – Export Development Canada, Nedbank Limited (acting through its Corporate and Investment Banking division) and Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking – that were appointed earlier this year, details of which are in Ivanhoe’s April 25, 2017 news release available at www.ivanhoemines.com.
The IMLAs will make best efforts to arrange a total debt financing of up to US$1 billion for the development of Platreef’s first-phase, four-million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) mine, with preliminary expressions of interest now received for approximately US$900 million of the targeted US$1 billion financing. The financing will be contingent upon a successful due diligence process including benchmarking the project against the International Financial Corporation’s (IFC) Environmental and Social Performance Standards.
Negotiation of a term sheet is ongoing between Ivanhoe’s finance team and the IMLAs and discussions were held during the week of July 3rd in Johannesburg, South Africa, and attended by all five IMLAs. This was followed by a site visit to the Platreef Project.
“With KfW IPEX-Bank’s and SEK’s involvement and with the indications of interest received from lenders totalling US$900 million, we have great confidence that we will reach our total debt financing target,” said Mr. Friedland.
“We are thrilled by the addition of SEK and KfW IPEX-Bank to the IMLA group. SEK and KfW IPEX-Bank bring extensive experience in mining project finance, in particular in export and import finance, and bring with them the potential for significant German and Swedish government backing.”
About the Platreef Project
The Platreef Project is a Tier One discovery of platinum-group metals, nickel, copper and gold by Ivanhoe Mines’ geologists on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Igneous Complex, the world’s premier platinum-producing region.
Ivanhoe Mines owns 64% of the Platreef Project through its subsidiary, Ivanplats, and is directing all mine development work. The South African beneficiaries of the approved broad-based, black economic empowerment structure have a 26% stake in the Platreef Project. The remaining 10% is owned by a Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation; ITC Platinum Development Ltd., an ITOCHU affiliate; Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation; and JGC Corporation.
Ivanplats plans to develop the Platreef Mine as an underground mining operation in three phases: 1) an initial annual rate of four Mtpa to establish an operating platform to support future expansions; 2) a doubling of production to eight Mtpa; and 3) another expansion phase to a steady-state 12 Mtpa. At a projected production rate of 12 Mtpa, Platreef would be the largest platinum-group metals mine in the world, producing more than 1.2 million ounces of platinum-group metals each year.
The scientific and technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Stephen Torr, P.Geo., Ivanhoe Mines’ Vice President, Project Geology and Evaluation, a Qualified Person under the terms of National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). Mr. Torr has verified the technical data disclosed in this news release.
Technical information on the Platreef Project is contained in the Platreef 2016 Resource Technical Report dated June 24, 2016, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Ivanhoe Mines website at www.ivanhoemines.com.
About Ivanhoe Mines
Ivanhoe Mines is advancing its three principal projects in Southern Africa: 1) Mine development at the Platreef platinum-palladium-gold-nickel-copper discovery on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex; 2) mine development and exploration at the Kamoa-Kakula copper discovery on the Central African Copperbelt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); and 3) upgrading at the historic, high-grade Kipushi zinc-copper-silver-germanium mine, also on the DRC’s Copperbelt.