LONDON, ENGLAND – Robert Friedland, Executive Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF), and Lars-Eric Johansson, President and Chief Executive Officer, announced today that the company has appointed three leading mine-financing institutions — Export Development Canada, Nedbank Limited (acting through its Corporate and Investment Banking division) and Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking — as Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers (IMLAs) to arrange debt financing for the ongoing development of the company’s Platreef platinum-group metals, nickel, copper and gold mine in South Africa.
The three IMLAs will make best efforts to provide approximately US$450 million toward a total debt financing of up to US$1 billion for the development of Platreef’s first-phase, four-million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) mine. The financing will be contingent upon a successful due diligence process including benchmarking the project against the International Financial Corporation’s (IFC) Environmental and Social Performance Standards. Negotiation of a term sheet was initiated at meetings between Ivanhoe’s finance team and the IMLAs, which were held last week in London.
“This is a major step in the development of the Platreef Project, which has the potential to become the world’s largest producer of platinum-group metals,” said Mr. Friedland.
“The selected institutions bring extensive experience in structured mining finance in South Africa and internationally. Their support gives us strong confidence in our ability to advance the near-term development of Platreef and confirms that it is viewed as one of the world’s most attractive greenfield platinum-group-metals projects.”
Mr. Johansson noted, “With the appointment of the IMLAs, our next step in arranging the project debt financing is the completion and issuance of the definitive feasibility study for Platreef’s first-phase production scenario, which we expect this quarter.”
The feasibility study is being prepared by principal consultant DRA Global, with specialized sub-consultants including Stantec Consulting, Murray & Roberts Cementation, SRK Consulting, Golder Associates and Digby Wells Environmental.
On April 12, 2017, Ivanhoe announced approval for the start of early-works construction for Platreef’s Shaft 2, which will be the project’s main production shaft. Shaft 2 will be located approximately 100 metres northeast of Platreef’s Shaft 1, where permanent sinking has been underway for eight months.
Advisors to Ivanhoe Mines on the project debt financing are HCF International Advisers Limited and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, both of London, and Falcon & Hume Inc., of Johannesburg.
About the Platreef Project
The Platreef Project is a Tier One discovery by Ivanhoe Mines’ geologists on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Igneous Complex, the world’s premier platinum-producing region.
Ivanhoe Mines owns 64% of the Platreef Project through its subsidiary, Ivanplats, and is directing all mine development work. The South African beneficiaries of the approved broad-based, black economic empowerment structure have a 26% stake in the Platreef Project. The remaining 10% is owned by a Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation; ITC Platinum Development Ltd., an ITOCHU affiliate; Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation; and JGC Corporation.
Ivanplats plans to develop the Platreef Mine as an underground mining operation in three phases: 1) an initial annual rate of four Mtpa to establish an operating platform to support future expansions; 2) a doubling of production to eight Mtpa; and 3) another expansion phase to a steady-state 12 Mtpa. At a projected production rate of 12 Mtpa, Platreef would be the largest platinum-group metals mine in the world, producing more than 1.2 million ounces of platinum-group metals each year.
The scientific and technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Stephen Torr, P.Geo., Ivanhoe Mines’ Vice President, Project Geology and Evaluation, a Qualified Person under the terms of National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). Mr. Torr has verified the technical data disclosed in this news release.
Technical information on the Platreef Project is contained in the Platreef 2016 Resource Technical Report dated June 24, 2016, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Ivanhoe Mines website at www.ivanhoemines.com.
About Ivanhoe Mines
Ivanhoe Mines is advancing its three principal projects in Sub-Saharan Africa: 1) Mine development at the Platreef platinum-palladium-gold-nickel-copper discovery on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex; 2) mine development and exploration at the Kamoa-Kakula copper discovery on the Central African Copperbelt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); and 3) upgrading at the historic, high-grade Kipushi zinc-copper-lead-germanium mine, also on the DRC’s Copperbelt. For details, visit www.ivanhoemines.com.
Bill Trenaman +1.604.331.9834
North America: Bob Williamson +1.604.512.4856
South Africa: Jeremy Michaels +27.11.088.4300
Statements in this news release that are forward-looking statements or information are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors disclosed here and elsewhere in the company’s periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. When used in this news release, the words such as “could,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “potential,” “should” and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. Information provided in this document is necessarily summarized and may not contain all available material information.
The forward-looking information and statements in this news release include, but is not limited to (i) statements regarding the three IMLAs are looking to provide approximately US$450 million towards a total debt financing of up to US$1 billion for the development of Platreef’s first-phase, four million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) mine; (ii) statements regarding Platreef has the potential to become the world’s largest producer of platinum-group metals; (iii) statements regarding expectation of the issuance of the definitive feasibility study for Platreef’s first-phase, four Mtpa production scenario this quarter; (iv) statements regarding Ivanplats plans to develop the Platreef Mine as an underground mining operation in three phases: 1) an initial annual rate of four Mtpa to establish an operating platform to support future expansions; 2) a doubling of production to eight Mtpa; and 3) another expansion phase to a steady-state 12 Mtpa; and (v) statements regarding at a projected production rate of 12 Mtpa, Platreef would be the largest platinum-group metals mine in the world, producing more than 1.2 million ounces of platinum-group metals each year.
Readers are cautioned that actual results may vary from those presented.
All such forward-looking information and statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by Ivanhoe Mines’ management in light of their experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors management believe are appropriate in the circumstances. These statements, however, are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information or statements including, but not limited to, unexpected changes in laws, rules or regulations, or their enforcement by applicable authorities; the failure of parties to contracts to perform as agreed; social or labour unrest; changes in commodity prices; unexpected failure or inadequacy of infrastructure, industrial accidents or machinery failure (including of shaft sinking equipment), or delays in the development of infrastructure, and the failure of exploration programs or other studies to deliver anticipated results or results that would justify and support continued studies, development or operations. Other important factors that could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements also include those described under the heading “Risk Factors” in the company’s most recently filed MD&A as well as in the most recent Annual Information Form filed by Ivanhoe Mines. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information or statements. The factors and assumptions used to develop the forward-looking information and statements, and the risks that could cause the actual results to differ materially are presented in the Platreef 2016 Resource Technical Report dated June 24, 2016, available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Ivanhoe Mines website at www.ivanhoemines.com.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of the company believes are reasonable assumptions, the company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the company does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.