THE Commonwealth Bank of Australia was recently mandated to provide a funding package to Unity Mining for the development of its Dargues gold project in NSW.
The $45 million finance facility would be structured as a Gold Prepay for a three-year period, with an associated gold hedging facility to protect a portion of the revenue during the first 24 months of the loan. The funding package was subject to credit approval, completion of documentation and satisfaction of conditions precedent normal for a facility of this nature.
According to Unity, the funding package “appropriately reflects the reduced risk profile of the enlarged group”.
Unity acquired the Dargues project at ‘development ready’ stage through a merger with Cortona Resources in January. Cortona’s previous funding arrangement with Deutsche Bank was terminated in lieu of the new agreement.
The planned Dargues mine would target production of 50,000oz of gold per annum for an initial five-year mine life, from an underground pit using conventional long hole open stope mining methods, via a decline.
The plant is designed to extract half the gold via a simple gravity process and also produce a sulphide concentrate, containing the other half of the gold.
“The end result is a state-of-the-art, modern, environmentally friendly gold processing facility designed on the principles of ecologically sustainable development that will boast a very small surface footprint,” Unity stated.
Earthworks are currently underway at the project, with first gold expected in 2014.
“Unity is confident of extending mine life through a comprehensive exploration program which is now underway, targeting both depth extensions to known resources and proving up adjacent high grade gold intercepts in parallel zones north and south of the main orebody, which are not currently included in the project’s mineral resources.”