KINROSS Gold has secured $300m in finance for the expansion of its Mauritania gold mine, Tasiast, increasing gold production to an average of 563,000 ounces a year between 2022 and 2028.
Tasiast produced 194,259 oz of gold in the six months ended June, significantly above the 106,054 oz in the six months of the previous financial year. Including production from Chirano in Ghana, Kinross’ African gold production of 299,930 oz (2018: 224,805 oz) was about 24% of total group production of just over 1.2 million oz.
Kinross said in September the second phase expansion would cost about $150m. This week’s loan definitive agreement is with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), Export Development Canada, as well as ING Group and Société Générale.
“We are pleased to have signed the loan agreement, which is indicative of the support from a multilateral lender, an export credit agency and two international banks for our Tasiast operation,” said J. Paul Rollinson, Kinross President and CEO. “The completion of this facility underscores the attractive foreign investment climate in Mauritania,” he said.
The loan agreement is the largest by the IFC in Mauritania and reflected the bank’s alignment with the development agenda of the North African country’s government, said Aliou Maiga, IFC’s regional director for West and Central Africa.
The eight-year loan, which is non-recourse to Kinross, matures in December 2027 and has a floating interest rate of LIBOR plus 4.38%, said the gold company. The initial drawdown under the loan agreement is expected in early 2020, subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions precedent, it said.