BCI secures a$740m debt funding for Mardie

15th October 2021 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed BCI Minerals on Friday announced that it had secured A$740-million in debt funding for the development of its Mardie salt and potash project, in Western Australia.

The project will require a capital spend of some A$1.2-billion to support a production of 5.35-million tonne a year of salt and 140 000 t/y of sulphate of potash (SoP).

The project is anticipated to produce some 5.35-million tonnes a year of salt and some 140 000 t/y SoP, over a projected mine life of at least 60 years.

BCI on Friday said that the A$740-million financing package included a A$490-million, 15-year facility from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

The NAIF board approved a A$40-million increase to the A$450-million loan previously approved in December of last year, in recognition of the larger project delivered under the optimised feasibility study.

The funding package also includes a A$110-million, 10-year facility from Export Finance Australia (EFA), which has obtained conditional approval for the debt facility, while two leading Commercial Banks have provided credit approvals for A$310-million commitments to the Green Commercial Facilities for the project which include a A$140-million, 7.5-year construction facility, a A$120-million cost overrun facility and a A$50-million bank guarantee facility for any performance bonds required under construction or operating contracts.

All facilities remain conditional on formal documentation, securing required tenure and approvals, equity funding, offtake arrangements, and other customary conditions precedent are associated with the loans.

“Securing this landmark A$740-million project finance debt package represents a key milestone for the Mardie salt and potash project and will underpin the pending consideration of the BCI board to progress Mardie to a final investment decision (FID),” BCI MD Alwyn Vorster said.

“The participation of government funders such as NAIF and EFA, together with the confidence demonstrated by the lead Commercial Banks in the technical, economic and green credentials of the project is a strong validation of Mardie’s potential. BCI is now well positioned to achieve FID, raise the required new equity and subject to final approvals, commence main construction.”