The Serrote copper/gold project, in Brazil, is fully funded through to production, following the completion of $140-million in debt financing, Mineração Vale Verde (MVV) and Appian Capital Advisory reported on Thursday.
The debt finance facility with ING Capital, Natixis, New York Branch, and Societe Generale, is the largest greenfield mining project finance transaction to have been announced since the beginning of 2020 and the onset of Covid-19, MVV said.
"I am pleased that we have been able to secure this financing for Serrote, which finalises the overall funding package and will support completion of project development and delivery of first production. It is an important development which recognises the continued progress and key milestones achieved to date and highlights the attractiveness of this high-quality copper/gold deposit,” said MVV and Appian Brazil CEO Paulo Castellari.
As part of the overall project funding package, Appian Natural Resources Fund II would acquire a royalty over a portion of the project's gold by-product production.
The 20 000 t/y copper-equivalent Serotte openpit project remained on track for first production in the second half of 2021.
Construction is progressing on time and in line with budget, with more than 94% of overall project execution complete.
Mechanical completion has been achieved in a number of areas with precommissioning activities and operational readiness programmes also well advanced.
Serrote's initial life-of-mine will exploit a mineral reserve of 52.65-million tonnes, grading 0.6% copper and 0.1 g/t gold, with substantial value upside available through a potential expansion into the larger 108.85-million-tonne measured and indicated resource at Serrote, as well as through the potential at some of the nearby satellite deposits.