Alloycorp Mining Inc (TSX-V: AVT) has arranged for US$435 million in financing to develop its Avanti Kitsault Project, a molybdenum mine located north of Prince Rupert, British Columbia that is expected to reach production in 2017. Included in the financing package is a conditional equity commitment of US$140 million from U.S. private equity firm Resource Capital Funds (RCF), part of which will be used to repay an outstanding bridge loan facility. The company has also received a conditional equity commitment of about US$70 million from several RCF limited partners. Formerly known as Avanti Mining Inc, Alloycorp has its headquarters in Vancouver.
Alloycorp Mining Announces Arrangements for US$435 Million in Financing, Update on Project Development and Filing of Year-End Financial Statements and MD&A
TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – March 30, 2015) – Alloycorp Mining Inc. (TSX VENTURE: AVT) (“Alloycorp” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide shareholders with an update on the financing and development of the Avanti Kitsault Project (“Avanti Kitsault” or the “Project”). A number of significant achievements have been completed since the Company’s general corporate update announced November 11, 2014. The details of the Company’s significant activities are as follows:
Update on Avanti Kitsault Financing
The Company continues to pursue credit commitments from a syndicate of lenders (collectively, the “Lenders”) mandated on July 29, 2014, to provide secured financing facilities for US$612 million for the development of Avanti Kitsault. As at March 26, 2015, credit approvals for US$225 million have been provided by two lenders, while one lender has declined participation in the facility. The remaining three lenders continue to work towards final credit approval, while other new lenders are reviewing their participation in the syndicate.
“We are pleased with the progress we have made with our Lenders to-date,” said Gordon Bogden, President and CEO of Alloycorp. “Despite a volatile price environment for molybdenum and resource commodities in general, observed over the past few months, their continued support is a testament to the quality of the Avanti Kitsault asset and its management team.”
In addition to the debt financing, Alloycorp continues to pursue a range of equity financing alternatives to complete construction capital requirements. To date, the Company has received a conditional equity investment commitment (the “RCF Commitment”) of US$140 million from Resource Capital Fund VI L.P. (“RCF”), of which US$50 million will be used to repay the outstanding secured bridge loan facility with RCF. In addition to the RCF Commitment, the Company has also received a conditional equity investment commitment of approximately US$70 million from several limited partners of RCF. The completion of the secured financing facilities and the equity investments are subject to conditions including ongoing due diligence, negotiation and execution of definitive documentation, negotiation of terms, regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
Mr. Bogden added, “Including debt and equity commitments received to-date, US$435 million in total funding has been arranged. This is a significant portion of our total project financing at Avanti Kitsault.”
Update on Avanti Kitsault Development
•Overall engineering and procurement was approximately 55% complete at the end of February 2015;
•Camp expansion is now complete, supporting a 150 bed camp;
•Construction of the Nass River Bridge is complete, providing primary road access to Avanti Kitsault;
•On October 23, 2014, Alloycorp received its water discharge permit from the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, the final permit required to complete construction; and
•On October 1, 2014, construction of the access road to the Avanti Kitsault plant site was also completed.
Alloycorp is currently undergoing metallurgical test work, including the addition of a separate circuit for further silver processing, with the target of improving both molybdenum and silver recoveries. An improvement in metallurgical recovery, combined with a strengthening United States dollar versus the Canadian dollar are expected to have a positive impact on the economics of Avanti Kitsault.
Alloycorp is also completing a detailed independent review of initial construction capital required for the Project based on advances in engineering and development. The review is intended to provide much greater clarity on costing and scope going forward. Based on work completed to date, initial construction capital appears to be trending higher by 20% to 30% from the $818 million estimate.
“Avanti Kitsault is one of a handful of mineral resource projects currently being constructed in Canada,” said Mr. Bogden. “We believe this positions us well for a potential recovery in commodity prices; however in the context of the current cycle it is that much more important for us to precisely understand and control costs, the driving factor for completing a detailed independent review.”
Corporate Responsibility and Community Engagement
To champion Alloycorp’s corporate responsibility and community engagement initiatives, the Company is also pleased to announce the appointment of Bernée Bolton as Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, effective February 2, 2015. Ms. Bolton has over 20 years of experience providing strategic direction on community engagement, corporate priorities and communications in the public and private sectors. Most recently, Ms. Bolton was the Assistant Director of Communications with the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”), where she led the CBSA’s communications directorate for British Columbia and the Yukon.
Alloycorp also announces that the Avanti Kitsault Mine Ltd. (“AKML”) office located in Terrace, British Columbia was opened in February 2015. The office will function as the mine operations office going forward. The AKML corporate office is located in Vancouver.
“We are very pleased with the tremendous support we have received so far from our contractors, suppliers, the Nisga’a Lisims Government and all communities in the Nass Valley area,” said Peter Mah, Chief Operating Officer of Alloycorp and President of AKML. “Once in production, Avanti Kitsault is expected to employ a workforce of approximately 300 people at site and at Terrace. We look forward to continue our work together with all participants towards shared prosperity in the region.”
In September 2014, Alloycorp formed an Independent Engineering Review Panel (“IERP”), comprised of geotechnical engineers to work with the Company in reviewing all aspects of the geotechnical engineering and waste management practices at Avanti Kitsault.
Since formation, the IERP has reviewed the initial tailings embankment design, water management strategy and construction execution plan. The IERP, together with the Company, completed a site visit in October 2014.
“We are very pleased to have three experts in the field of tailings and water management as part of our IERP as we advance the design of the Avanti Kitsault tailings management facility,” said Shane Uren, Vice President, Safety, Health and Environment.
In addition to the IERP, technical representatives from the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines are also participating in our IERP meetings. The IERP continues to provide feedback on Avanti Kitsault’s tailings management facility and other key geotechnical aspects of the Project.
Other Corporate Matters
Alloycorp announces that its Board of Directors (the “Board”) has approved the Company’s annual audited financial statements and related management’s discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2014. Both are available under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and will be presented to shareholders at the Company’s annual general meeting, which is scheduled to be held on May 8, 2015 at 11:00 AM EDT at the TMX Broadcast Center, 130 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5X 1J2.
The Board regrets to announce that Ken Pickering has resigned from the Board on March 26, 2015 in order to devote more time to his increasing responsibilities as a director of other public companies.
Alloycorp also regrets to announce Luke Klemke has resigned as General Manager of Avanti Kitsault in order to pursue other opportunities.
Both Alloycorp and the Board wish Mr. Pickering and Mr. Klemke all the best in their future endeavors.
About Avanti Kitsault
Avanti Kitsault is located in the Nass Valley area, approximately 140 km north of Prince Rupert, in British Columbia, Canada. Alloycorp holds a 100 percent interest in the Project through its wholly owned subsidiary, Avanti Kitsault Mine Ltd. Alloycorp is spending approximately $1 billion to develop Avanti Kitsault into one of the top four primary molybdenum mines in the world, expected to reach production in 2017.
Avanti Kitsault is fully permitted for construction, receiving its environmental assessment certificate from the Province of British Columbia in March of 2013, and an amended Mines Act permit on June 16, 2014. A Co-operation and Benefits Agreement was announced between Avanti Kitsault and the Nisga’a Lisims Government on June 3, 2014.
Molybdenum is a key alloying agent in the production of steel. Molybdenum is used to enhance strength, toughness, and wear and corrosion resistance to types of steels used in pipelines, storage tanks, bridges, aircraft engines and many, many other products. The versatility of molybdenum means that it plays a significant role in everyday life now and in the future.
Alloycorp is a TSX-Venture listed company headquartered in Toronto with an operations office in Vancouver. Alloycorp’s strategy is to become the unique supplier of steel alloy metals. Cornerstone to this strategy is the development of Avanti Kitsault. Parallel to this, Alloycorp is seeking to grow through the acquisition of other assets with commodities that supply to the steel alloys industry.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains certain statements concerning the business of Alloycorp that constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “scheduled”, “predict” and other similar terminology, or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might”, or “will” be taken or occur to be achieved. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including, without limitation, the completion of anticipated financing arrangements and activities and the anticipated development of Kitsault, the expected movement of molybdenum and other commodity prices (and the Company’s position in relation thereto) and expected fluctuations in exchange rates, are all forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the opinions of management at the date the statements are made and are based on assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations include fluctuations in commodity prices and currency exchange rates; the satisfaction of various conditions to financing and funding; uncertainties relating to interpretation of drill results and the geology, continuity and grade of mineral deposits; uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating costs, recovery rates, production estimates and estimated economic return; the need for cooperation of government agencies and native groups in the exploration and development of properties and the issuance of required permits; the need to obtain additional financing to develop properties and uncertainty as to the availability, terms and timing of future financing; the possibility of delay in exploration or development programs or in construction projects and uncertainty of meeting anticipated program milestones; and other risks and uncertainties disclosed in the Company’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2013, which is available at www.sedar.com. The Company is under no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management’s opinions should change, except as required by applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, ad will not necessarily be accurate indicators of whether or not such results will be achieved. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
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Vice President, Corporate Development and Investor Relations
Photo courtesy of Alloycorp Mining Inc