SIRIUS Resources has signed a $440 million syndicated facility agreement with four top tier banks to fund the development of its 100 per cent owned Nova nickel mine in WA.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, BNP Paribas, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and Westpac Banking will participate equally in the facility, which combined “generationally low”
interest rates, no hedging requirements, early repayment flexibility and an option for Sirius to retain free cash.

Sirius said the pricing, terms and conditions reflected the project’s low technical and commercial risks, and the competitive banking environment for quality projects. Key points of the financing include no financial penalties should the facility not be fully drawn; a long tenor fixed schedule of repayments (starting December 2017 and running to March 2022); and allowance of early repayments at any time without restriction or financial penalty.

Sirius managing director Mark Bennett said the financing, and the project’s recent approval by WA’s Department of Mines and Petroleum, marked the completion of another major milestone for the company.

“[We are] right on track to commence the development and construction of Nova early in the New Year,” he said.

“Our ability to secure finance on such advantageous terms from domestic and international lenders attests to the quality of Nova and the financiers’ level of confidence in the project.

“This well-structured and low cost $440 million facility, in combination with Sirius’ current strong cash position of approximately $250 million and forecast low cost of nickel production, positions Sirius with an enviable degree of flexibility to benefit from a wide range of future scenarios without the need to seek further debt or equity funding.”