African Minerals in new Tonkolili funding talks with Standard Bank

Sierra Leone-focused miner African Minerals is in advanced talks with Standard Bank to secure additional funding for its Tonkolili project, the company said on Monday December 17.

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The London Alternative Investment Market-listed iron ore producer is discussing plans to convert an existing $100 million credit line, of which $80 million is already drawn, to a $150 million credit line, with Standard Bank. 

African Minerals is also in advanced discussions to secure additional funding of $250 million, the company said.

“[The additional funding] will provide the group with a comfortable level of financial headroom to manage the ramp up to our targeted 20 million-tpy production rate while maintaining $500m earmarked for the next phase of the group’s expansion, which we plan to commence in 2013,” ceo Keith Calder said.

African Minerals fell short of its shipment target this year due to an extended wet season in Sierra Leone, but is looking to reach a 20 million tpy production rate by the second quarter of 2013.

The company’s 75%-owned Tonkolili iron ore mine has JORC-compliant reserves of 12.8 billion tonnes. Shandong Iron and Steel Group holds the remaining 25% stake in the project.