Capricorn Copper secures $45 million in debt funding

BIG DEAL: Capricorn Copper project has got a boost with a $45 million injection of funds from a French bank. Photo:supplied

BIG DEAL: Capricorn Copper project has got a boost with a $45 million injection of funds from a French bank. Photo:supplied

Capricorn Copper has signed a $45 million Senior Facility Agreement with French bank BNP Paribas to complete funding of the refurbishment and restart project of north west copper mine.

Capricorn Copper chair Owen Hegarty said he was pleased BNP Paribas had joined them in one of Australia’s most exciting copper projects.

“Signing the BNP facility represents yet another positive step forward for Capricorn Copper,” Mr Hegarty said.

“BNP Paribas’s support, along with the project progress puts us in a good position to take advantage of the strength we see developing in the global copper market.”

The Senior Facility Agreement will see $40m go to project development during the construction, commissioning and ramp up stages with a working capital revolving facility of $5 million for the operational phase.

Capricorn said the Facility Agreement took advantage of current low interest rates and provided them with an efficient and flexible capital structure to recommence operations and its terms and conditions provided them with a flexible and competitively priced financing package.

Capricorn Copper mine is one of Australia’s largest copper development projects located 125 km north of Mount Isa.

Capricorn Copper’s Board approved the $110 million capital program to commence the RRP in November 2016, following the completion of a detailed feasibility study on how to resume sustainable operations.  

With a significant high grade resource containing over 900kt of copper metal, the mine is expected to produce 30ktpa of copper in a high grade concentrate over an initial life of ten years.

Capricorn said the 2017 exploration program was successful and was expected to extend the mine life.

Key contractors including mining contractor Byrnecut are on site with production expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2017.  

Operational readiness programs and recruitment have begun and Capricorn says it has created over 350 full time equivalent positions in operational and construction roles.

Once in steady state operations, Capricorn Copper expects to maintain an operating workforce of around 220 full time employees with a strong focus on developing opportunities for employees and suppliers in the Northwest region.

In April Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham declared the Capricorn Copper mine and RRP a Prescribed Project. 

Capricorn Copper CEO Carl Hallion said they wanted to build a high quality copper operation.

“That hard work and the capability of the team will see us continue to achieve our key milestones and keep us on track to become Australia’s newest copper producer and success story,” Mr Hallion said.

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