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
Mayer Brown, London
+44 20 3130 3205
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