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Final Financing Secured for Papua New Guinea-China Nickel Project

July 27, 2008

Text of report by Papua New Guinea Post-Courier website on 25 July

The Chinese Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) Ramu Nickel Cobalt Ltd has overcome its final hurdle by executing the financing documents to fund the billion-kina Ramu project.

The company’s joint venture partner, Highlands Pacific Ltd, announced this on Wednesday [23 July] and said the project is now on schedule to be completed before commissioning next year.

Highlands managing director John Gooding said the execution of the financing documents was the final hurdle for financing the project, located in Madang Province. He indicated construction activities are continuing, with almost 350m US dollars (949m kina) spent or committed already to the project.

“We are excited at the progress being made at Ramu, with financing now secured and development activities in full swing,” Mr Gooding said. “Ramu remains on schedule for commissioning of the mine in the first half of 2009, with the process plant to be commissioned in late 2009.

“While Highland’s initial stake in the project is 8.56 per cent, Ramu will ensure a healthy, long-term cash flow for the company, as well as prov0iding a growth opportunity by scaling up the company’s interest to 20.55 per cent down the track,” he said.

Financing of the $US1.37 billion (K3.71 billion) project is as follows:

– $US344 million (K933 million) supplied by MCC and other MCC- JJJ shareholders as equity on behalf of all joint venture partners;

– $US560 million (K1519 million) debt financing from the Export- Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) and;

– $US473 million (K1283 million) debt financing from MCC-JJJ Mining Development Company Ltd as a shareholder loan.

MCC-JJJ Mining Development Company Ltd is a 100 per cent owner of MCC Ramu, which owns 85 per cent of the Ramu project.

Originally published by Papua New Guinea Post-Courier website, Port Moresby, in English 25 Jul 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.




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