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Kinross lines up another US$300M for Tasiast

Kinross Gold has signed a loan agreement for up to US$300 million to complete the Tasiast mine expansion in Mauritania.
Kinross lines up another US$300M for Tasiast Kinross lines up another US$300M for Tasiast Kinross lines up another US$300M for Tasiast Kinross lines up another US$300M for Tasiast Kinross lines up another US$300M for Tasiast

Kinross Gold has secured US$300 million in debt to complete its latest expansion project at Tasiast in Mauritania

Backed by the World Bank affiliated International Finance Corporation, Export Development Canada and with buy-in from ING Bank and Societe Generale, the company has secured non-recourse funding to complete the project.

The loan has an eight-year term and matures in December of 2027. It features a floating interest rate of LIBOR plus 4.38% with initial drawdown expected in early 2020.

Kinross in September said it would proceed with the $150 million Tasiast 24k expansion project to increase throughput to 24,000 tonnes per day by mid-2023, up from the 12,000t/d current range following the Phase I expansion.

"Tasiast has continued to achieve strong results and has operationally outperformed since the completion of the initial expansion. We believe this agreement will contribute to the long-term success of Tasiast for the benefit of both Kinross and the people of Mauritania," CEO Paul Rollinson said.

The 100%-owned Tasiast openpit mine produced 288,124oz gold in the first nine months of this year. It hosts proven and probable reserves of 120.8Mt grading 1.9g/t gold for 7.2Moz.

The company recently unloaded 20.7 million shares of Lundin Gold for about $150 million earlier this month.

Despite the mine's significant future upside Tasiast has not always been a happy story for Kinross after its $7.1-billion acquisition in 2010 of Red Back Mining. Before the initial Phase I expansion was completed the mine had failed to live up to expectations and a subsequent gold price meltdown prompted Kinross to book at least $6 billion in write-downs.

Kinross shares (TSX:K) have traded in a range of C$3.85-$7.24 over the past 12 months. At its $5.61 Monday close the company has a market cap of $7 billion.