Tietto taps Taurus for Abujar debt

RESOURCES fund manager Taurus Mining Finance has been tapped to deliver the debt required to develop Tietto Minerals’ US$200 million Abujar gold project in Cote d’Ivoire.
Tietto taps Taurus for Abujar debt Tietto taps Taurus for Abujar debt Tietto taps Taurus for Abujar debt Tietto taps Taurus for Abujar debt Tietto taps Taurus for Abujar debt

Exploration drilling will continue during development

Haydn Black

Reporter

It had been offered up to $180 million by a range prospective funders.
 
Tietto boss Dr Caigen Wang said Taurus had a long history of investing in the West African gold sector and was well-placed to deliver a project development facility of up to $140 million. 
 
The five-year loan is expected to land at $130-140 million, and has covenants described as "customary".
 
Tietto said the market was so competitive that it secured good terms, including the ability to operate without hedging, and to make an early repayment without penalty. 
 
Taurus will work to finalise its due diligence over the next few weeks, prior to providing a final offer. 
 
Wang said the company securing finance just six weeks after delivering its definitive feasibility study gave Tietto the confidence that Abujar will be West Africa's next gold mine.
 
Abujar is expected to produce an average of 200,000 ounces per annum over the first six years of a projected 11 year mine life, generating a post-tax net present value of A$970 million.
 
First gold is expected before the end of 2022. Payback is expected to take less than one year.
 
Tietto has $33 million in cash, and expected to generate another $10 million in options.
 
Exploration will continue during construction period as Tietto seeks to leverage its rig fleet and near-mine targets to extend mine life.
 
Abujar has total resources of 3.35Moz, with 1.2Moz expected to be recovered over the first six years.
 
Shares in Tietto were down 3% to 44.5c in late morning trade, capitalising the company at $203 million.
 
The mine is still viable if the price falls to $1200/oz, however free cashflow reduces to $317 million.
 
Tietto has most of its approvals in place, with only the mining convention expected to be ratified before the end of the year.
 
The stock has traded between 28.5c and 48c over the past year, and the shares were steady today at 45c, valuing it at $209 million.