PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Zinc producer New Century Resources has secured a A$40-million debt facility with National Australia Bank (NAB) to fast-track the expansion of its Century zinc mine, in Queensland.
The two-year facility will have a 5.25% a year interest rate, New Century reported on Monday.
The company told shareholders that the facility is believed to represent the first project debt financing package provided for a mine rehabilitation and tailings processing operation by a “big four” Australian bank, demonstrating the robust economic value proposition associated with operations at the Century mine.
“It is fantastic to partner with NAB in the execution of New Century’s strategy to capitalise on the strong value proposition presented by the Century assets. The facility provides a great opportunity to grow our business and ultimately maximise value creation for shareholders,” said New Century MD Patrick Walta.
The facility will be used to fast-track plans to expand the full production rate at the Century zinc mine, which will be done in two phases. The initial Phase 1 refurbishment of the southern train of the processing plant will bring the operation to an 8-million-tonne-a-year capacity, at a budgeted A$50-million.
The Phase 1 operation has now been completed and is in operation.
The Phase 2 refurbishment of the northern train of the processing plant will bring the operation to a 15-million-tonne-a-year capacity for an additional A$63-million in funding. Phase 2 is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2019.
New Century has identified opportunities to fast-track the Phase 2 ramp-up timeline, with the debt facility allowing the company to commit to these items without delaying for sufficient cash flow from current operations.