Finders Resources has finalized the two key components of funding for the expansion of its Wetar Copper Project from the current annual capacity of 3000 tonnes of copper cathode to 28,000 tonnes.
Leading international trading house Daewoo International Corporation will provide US$45 million in project level equity. Senior lenders BNP Paribas, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and Societe Generale have also signed a credit approved commitment letter for US$165 million of senior loan facilities.
Finders’ managing director Barry Cahill says, “Daewoo and the four senior banks are very sophisticated global resource project financiers who have taken the time to conduct extensive project due diligence. The support of these experienced project financiers is an extremely pleasing endorsement of the Wetar Copper Project. We look forward to working with such highly credentialed partners to develop Wetar into the tier one project that the fundamentals support.”
Finders, which started copper production from Wetar on March 31, is now expected to start construction of the project expansion works next month with production from the expanded plant expected to come online in the second half of 2015.
Last week Finders also advised that it had shipped its first cathode from the Wetar copper cathode solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) plant. A total of 102.5 tonnes left Wetar for the port at Surabaya via Kupang. The 3000 tonne SX-EW plant is operating at its nameplate daily capacity of 8 tonnes.
The shipment is expected to arrive in Surabaya by the end of May and is expected to be sold shortly thereafter. As a refined product, the export of cathode is not affected by the regulations on Indonesian ore exports.
Wetar is a high-grade, open pit 8.9 million tonne @ 2.4% copper reserve with a 1:1 strip ratio. The company intends to add 25,000 tonnes to annual copper cathode capacity via the refurbishment and re-assembly of the former Whim Creek plant and the building of associated leach pads and infrastructure.