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BCI gets credit approval for Mardie finance

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Photo by Bloomberg

25th August 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Potash developer BCI Minerals has received credit approvals for A$650-million of project finance for its Mardie salt project, in Western Australia.

The company on Friday said that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) had approved a A$490-million project finance facility for Mardie, with a 15-year tenor, while Export Finance Australia (EFA) had approved a A$160-million project finance facility with an 11-year tenor.

Financial close of the project finance is subject to detailed facility documentation and typical project finance conditions precedent.

“Securing A$650-million of long-term project finance approvals is an important milestone for the Mardie project, which helps underpin the completion of the project. The participation of NAIF and EFA is a sign of confidence in the technical, economic and green credentials of the project, and is a strong validation of Mardie’s potential,” said BCI MD David Boshoff.

“BCI will now progress to obtain the remaining credit approvals required, complete the project finance, and seek to raise the required equity for Mardie Salt.”

Commercial Bank funding is proposed to include a A$180-million, seven-year construction facility, an A$81-million cost overrun facility and a A$70-million bank guarantee facility for bonds required under construction or operating contracts. BCI expects to be in a position to announce credit approvals from two leading commercial banks for a minimum of A$150-million in the near future, which will provide part of these requirements.

In addition to the credit-approved facilities, BCI has received a non-binding letter of interest from Export Development Canada (EDC) to potentially participate in the project finance. EDC’s interest is relatively recent and in connection to planned equipment and services supply from Canadian companies. The provision of financing by EDC is subject to the successful completion of its due diligence process and the satisfaction of typical project finance conditions.

BCI earlier this year flagged a A$500-million cost blow-out at Mardie, while also warning of delays to first production.

The project is now estimated to cost A$1.62-billion, while first salt production is anticipated mid-2026 and sulphate of potash in mid-2027, instead of the initial target of the first quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2026 respectively.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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