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Firms digs deep over mining project

Firms digs deep over mining project


Three firms have acted in relation to the refinancing of a South Australian copper mine's operations.

Firm: Allens (Hillgrove Resources); Norton Rose Fulbright (Freepoint); Herbert Smith Freehills (MBL)

Deal: Hillgrove Resources Limited refinanced its debt, bonding and hedging facilities for the Kanmantoo copper mine.

Value: US$14 million pre-export facility loan (plus a US$6 million tranche subject to conditions), a deferral and extension of the existing price participation obligations under the offtake agreement, a A$20 million performance bond facility and associated commodity hedging facilities.

Area: Banking and finance

Key players: Partner Nicholas Adkins (pictured) led the Allens banking and finance team on the debt refinancing, assisted by senior overseas practitioner Sarah Glenn, associate Gabriela Wilson, associate Tom Tian and law graduate Melanie Hayden. Equity capital markets partner Julian Donnan and associate Shikha Sethi advised on the equity raising.

Jake Howard from NRF and Erin Wakelin from HSF were also involved in the deal. 

Deal significance:

The deal has seen Hillgrove secure the pre-export facility with Ventures Australia LLC, a subsidiary of Freepoint Commodities LLC (also the long-term offtaker for the Kanmantoo project), which is the first such loan by Freepoint in the local market.

Macquarie Bank Limited has provided the performance bonding facility, which will be used primarily for the environmental bonds necessary to support the Kanmantoo operation, and also provided all the initial commodity hedging.

“We are very pleased to have assisted Hillgrove with this complex and innovative refinancing and to have continued our long association with the company,” Mr Adkins said.

“The refinancing comprised funds from a variety of sources, each with its own unique features, and it was undertaken at what is obviously a challenging time in the resources cycle, so full credit to the team at Hillgrove for getting this over the line.”

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