Vancouver, British Columbia – Artemis Gold Inc. – April 09, 2021 (TSX-V: ARTG) (“Artemis” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that, following a competitive selection process, it has received and executed a credit approved mandate letter and term sheet from Macquarie Bank Limited (“Macquarie”) and National Bank of Canada (“National Bank”) to arrange a $360 million Project Loan Facility (“PLF”), to fund a significant component of the estimated construction costs of the Company’s Blackwater Gold Project (“Blackwater Project”, or the “Project”) in central British Columbia. Subject to final credit approval and final due diligence, Macquarie and National Bank would agree to each underwrite 50% of the PLF.
Macquarie is part of Macquarie Group, a diversified financial group in 31 markets providing clients with asset management and finance, banking, advisory and risk and capital solutions across debt, equity and commodities and a recognized global leader in the provision of mining project finance. National Bank, together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada’s leading integrated financial groups with $344 billion in assets as at January 31, 2021. It has more than 26,000 employees in knowledge-intensive positions and has been recognized numerous times as a top employer and for its commitment to diversity. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA).
Highlights of the PLF
Key Terms of the PLF include the following:
- Facility Amount – $360 million, plus up to $25 million for capitalized interest prior to Project completion.
- Interest – Interest rate being the Canadian Dealer Offered Rate, or CDOR, plus a margin of 4.25% pre-project completion, reducing to 3.75% post-completion.
- Fees – Customary Upfront and standby fees for a facility of this nature.
- Repayment and Maturity – Principal and capitalized interest will be repayable in quarterly installments over 6 years commencing one year following achievement of commercial production, with a repayment holiday during years 4 and 5 of production while the Company expects to undertake its expansion of the Project from phase 1 to phase 2. The PLF can be prepaid at anytime without penalty.
- Liquidity – Minimum required proceeds of $10 million, Debt Service Reserve of principal and interest owing in the upcoming quarter.
- Hedging – A defined amount of hedging is expected to be put in place in advance of the signing of a definitive credit agreement pending certain conditions being met, covering approximately 10% to 14% of total recovered gold production from the Project during the tenure of the PLF, in order to limit the Company’s exposure to reductions in the gold price and in support of project economics.
The provision of the PLF will be subject to final credit approval, completion of final due diligence, the completion of the Company’s Definitive Feasibility Study in respect of the Project, project finance documentation and other typical conditions precedent for a financing of this nature. The Company is targeting the execution of a definitive credit agreement by the end of Q3 2021.
Notwithstanding the above arrangement with Macquarie and National Bank, the Company continues to consider all financing options including non-bank construction financing proposals in the interests of minimizing shareholder dilution and cost of capital.
Steven Dean, Chairman and CEO commented, “Artemis management is pleased to have reached agreement to again work together with two world class lenders in Macquarie and National Bank on a project loan facility, adding to the list of completed milestones for the development of the Blackwater Project.
Obtaining terms that are approved by the respective credit committees prior to final permitting, and the definitive feasibility study (due mid-year) speaks to the robust and attractive economics of a staged development of the Blackwater Project, as well as the quality of the technical body of work that has been undertaken over the last nine years. Artemis continues to focus on minimizing equity dilution by pursuing low cost, conservative structured capital, balanced by a disciplined risk management approach to the development of the Project.
The Company is looking forward to continuing to work with Macquarie and National Bank to finalize due diligence and a definitive credit agreement in parallel with the execution of fixed price EPC Contracts, and securing final major permits in order to ultimately break ground on construction on schedule in Q2 2022”.
Further updates will be provided in due course.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
ARTEMIS GOLD INC.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
For further information: Chris Batalha, CFO and Corporate Secretary, +1 (604) 558-1107.