Lucara Diamond Corp. has signed loan documentation in relation to its previously announced senior secured project financing debt package of US$220 million between Lucara Botswana as the Borrower and a syndicate of five mandated lead arrangers.
The Facilities include two tranches: a project finance facility of US$170 million to fund the development of the underground project, and a US$50 million working capital facility to re-finance the Company’s existing debt and to support on-going operations. The Facilities, combined with the recently announced equity financings totaling approximately US$30 million and projected cash flows from the Karowe open pit mine, during the underground construction period, result in the Karowe Underground Expansion Project (UGP) being fully financed.
President and CEO of Lucara, Eira Thomas, comments:
“Lucara is excited to be moving forward with a fully financed underground expansion project, extending Karowe’s mine life to at least 2040 and projected to deliver at least US$4 billion in additional revenues using conservative diamond price assumptions.
“Securing credit commitments for the arrangement of US$220 million senior debt facilities from five leading international financial institutions, with significant mining and metals track records and experience in Africa, is an important achievement for Lucara and reflects confidence in the large-stone resource at Karowe and the considerable efforts undertaken over the last five years to scope and define this attractive, highly economic growth opportunity for the company.
“It also reflects confidence in the strong, safe and reliable operating environment that has prevailed at Karowe over the last eight years, adhering to high standards in respect of ESG and striving to deliver long-term economic benefits to Botswana and the communities in which we operate. The development of the underground expansion project will adhere to all required environmental regulations and comply with Equator Principles.
“As a final comment, we believe this expansion project comes at the right time in the market cycle, with improving supply and demand fundamentals helping to stabilize and support stronger diamond prices in the short and longer term. The Karowe mine remains one of the highest margin diamond mines in the world, having yielded 5 of the 10 largest diamonds in recorded history and is the only mine to have recovered three diamonds greater than 1,000 carats.”