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Orezone Gold gains finance to get Bombore into production

Orezone Gold says it’s secured binding commitments of more than US$182 million to bring its 5 million ounce Bombore gold project in Burkina Faso into production.
Orezone Gold gains finance to get Bombore into production Orezone Gold gains finance to get Bombore into production Orezone Gold gains finance to get Bombore into production Orezone Gold gains finance to get Bombore into production Orezone Gold gains finance to get Bombore into production

Orezone Gold’s phase one household relocation progress, pictured in December

Staff reporter

It's now aiming for first gold at its 90%-owned "shovel-ready" project by the third quarter of 2022.

The finance package comprises a $96 million senior secured debt facility with West Africa's Coris Bank, a $35 million 8.5% convertible note with Resource Capital Fund VII LP and Canada's Beedie Investments, plus a circa $51 million equity raising.

The company pointed out no gold hedging, offtakes or cost overrun reserve was required by the debt facilities and added Bombore remained free of gold streams and private royalties, preserving upside for shareholders.

"We believe the financing package announced today is a testament to the strong project fundamentals offered by Bombore," president and CEO Patrick Downey said last week.

"The debt package is structured to provide maximum flexibility for the company to complete future expansions, including the staged phase II sulphide expansion."

Coris CEO Idrissa Nassa said the bank was pleased to be working with Orezone on the development of the mine and had been impressed with the community relocations and other early works already undertaken.

Orezone had been hoping to achieve first gold this year but withdrew that guidance in March 2020 in response to the global outbreak of COVID-19.

A 2019 updated feasibility study had put initial capex at US$153 million for a plus-13 year mine, producing an average annual 133,800 ounces over the first 10 years, with an after-tax NPV5 of $361 million and IRR of 43.8%. 

Payback was estimated at 2.5 years using a gold price of $1,300 an ounce, more than $500/oz below today's spot price.

Orezone said it would seek shareholder approval at a meeting in May for the convertible note facility to be issued to RCF, which was a major shareholder.

It said Canaccord and CIBC were acting as co-lead underwriters for the equity placement, priced at C$1.05, which was a 7.1% discount to the $1.13 closing price on January 20.

Its shares (TSXV: ORE), which have ranged from 22c-$1.27 over the past year, closed down 7.2% on Friday to $1.03, valuing it about $264 million (US$208 million).