Norton Rose has announced it is advising China's second biggest steel producer, Ansteel, in relation to the $US1.2 billion ($1.37 billion) syndicated project financing for the Karara Iron Ore project.
Funding for the project, which is being carried out with Ansteel as joint venture partner with Gindalbie Metals Ltd (advised by Clayton Utz), is being arranged by China Development Bank and Bank of China (advised by Mallesons and Clifford Chance Beijing).
Ansteel has invested more than $590 million into both Gindalbie and the Karara Iron Ore project.
Norton Rose is advising Ansteel on all aspects of the project financing structuring, as well as regulatory and documentation issues relating to negotiations with the mandated lead arranger group.
According to Norton Rose, this transaction is amongst the largest ever debt financings in the Western Australian resources sector.
The syndication, which is being arranged out of China, requires a balance to be struck between global debt market requirements, and local project and operational demands.
"Completion of this transaction will represent an extremely significant investment by China in the continued expansion of Western Australian infrastructure," said partner Alen Pazin.
"The transaction represents a long term commitment by Chinese enterprise to the growth of the Australian mining industry, with the Karara Iron Ore Project expected to have a life-of-mine of more than 30 years."