PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner West African Resources is advancing work at its Kiaka gold project, in Burkina Faso, completing the first stage of the debt financing process and awarding the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract and the grinding mill package.
The ASX-listed company on Monday told shareholders that it had received strong interest from eight tier one financiers, with competitive non-binding offers supporting a targeted $300-million debt.
The debt process has moved to the second stage, with the company short-listing the financing offers with the aim of appointing a preferred financier or syndicate to arrange and underwrite debt facilities in the first quarter of next year.
“We are extremely pleased with the strong interest from leading international resource financiers and their ongoing participation in the debt financing process for the 7.7-million-ounce Kiaka gold project,” said West African executive chairperson Richard Hyde.
“Strong competitive bids support West African’s targeted debt of $300-million and highlights Kiaka’s high quality and strong early cashflow generation. Securing the debt will ensure West African is very well positioned to fund Kiaka, particularly given our significant ongoing cashflow contribution from Sanbrado and our robust balance sheet.”
Meanwhile, the gold miner also awarded a A$44-million EPCM contract to ASX-listed engineering company Lycopodium for the construction of a new carbon-in-leach treatment plant for the Kiaka project.
The EPCM contract will be finalised and signed in December, and major work is anticipated to start in the first quarter of 2023, with first gold from Kiaka targeted in 2025.
Additionally, West African has also selected Metso Outotec to supply the 18 MW semi-autogenous grinding mill and 9 MW ball mill.
“We are pleased to announce the EPCM contract award to Lycopodium and award and placement of the mill package with Metso Outotec. We are pleased to team up again with Lycopodium and Metso Outotec following our successful partnership on the construction of Sanbrado, which was completed ahead of schedule and under budget,” said Hyde.
“West African is in an exciting growth phase, as we aim to be a multi-project, more than 400 000 oz/y gold producer in 2025.”