3 August 2009 – Leading international law firm Mayer Brown has advised Nevsun Resources Ltd on its $235 million project financing for the operation and construction of Bisha gold, silver, zinc and copper mine in Eritrea. It is the first mine to be project financed in the country.

Ian Coles, Mayer Brown's Global Head of Mining and Minerals, said: "This particular deal is of huge significance to the industry as it will pave the way for other mining operations in the country. Eight new mining licenses were approved in May alone, so this is a much anticipated first-of-its kind transaction."

Nevsun Resources Ltd. is a gold and base metal explorer and developer with a focus on developing mining projects in Africa. The Bisha mine project is under construction and production is expected to commence in 2010. A debt package totalling $235 million has been arranged for Bisha Mining Share Company to complete its funding arrangements to develop the project. The debt package is a mix of senior and subordinated loans from a lending group comprised of seven institutions from Europe and South Africa.

It has been one of the most challenging mining financings Mayer Brown has worked on to date, due to the developing nature of the legal system in Eritrea.

Ian Coles, Mayer Brown's Global Head of Mining and Minerals, led the team with support from Pallavi Bedi, Jayne Backett, Pradeep Madhavan and Julie-Ann Mohan. Partner Jonathan Hosie led the team advising on construction aspects of the project with assistance from Tamsin Travers.

Mayer Brown has a history of having worked on project finance firsts in the mining industry. The team has advised on the largest mining project financing in Russia (Kupol) and the first project financed mining project in Turkey (Çöpler gold mine).


For further information:

Charlotte Ward
PR Manager
Mayer Brown, London
+44 20 3130 8547

Ian Coles
Mayer Brown, London
+44 20 3130 3205

Notes to editors:

  • Mayer Brown is a leading global law firm with offices in key business centres across the Americas, Europe and Asia.  We have approximately 1,000 lawyers in the Americas, 300 in Asia and 500 in Europe.  The firm's Asia presence was enhanced by its 2008 combination with Johnson Stokes & Master, the largest and oldest Asia law firm.  (In Asia, we are known as Mayer Brown.)  This unequalled on-the-ground presence in the world’s leading markets for legal services enables Mayer Brown to offer clients access to local market expertise on a global basis.

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