Stonegate Signs Engagement Letter with Macquarie for the Arrangement of Up To $60 million in Equipment Lease Financing for the Paris Hills Phosphate Project in Idaho
October 28, 2013 (Source:CNW) — Stonegate Agricom Ltd. (the “Company”) (TSX: ST) (TSX: ST.WT.A) is pleased to announce that it has signed an engagement letter with Macquarie under which it has given Macquarie an exclusive mandate to act as lead arranger for the arrangement, underwriting and syndication of an equipment leasing facility (the “Lease Facility”) for up to US$60 million to fund the acquisition of mining equipment for the development and operation of an underground mine in the Lower Phosphate Zone of the Paris Hills Phosphate Project, located in Bear Lake County, Idaho.
The Macquarie Lease Facility is subject to customary conditions precedent including satisfactory due diligence, agreement on final terms and conditions and credit approvals.
Stonegate is pursuing a financing strategy that is anticipated to include a combination of the Lease Facility, debt financing, equity, strategic partnerships and/or off-take partner contributions to fund the estimated $121 million initial construction costs for the project plus working capital. In order to provide flexibility and maximize its financing options, Stonegate intends to pursue the Lease Facility and its other financing options in parallel.
“The Macquarie engagement letter is a significant first step for Stonegate in securing financing for the construction of our planned mine at Paris Hills. We are delighted that the project has attracted the interest and participation of such a highly regarded global financial institution involved in financing major resource and infrastructure developments around the world,” said Mark Ashcroft, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stonegate Agricom.
“Over the past three years, Stonegate has been successful in completing major milestones in the development process at Paris Hills in accordance with our initial plans, starting in September 2010 with drilling on the property to obtain Mineral Resource estimates, producing a detailed Pre-Feasibility Study with Mineral Reserve estimates for the Lower Zone in March 2012 and then following up with a Feasibility Study and expanded Mineral Reserve estimates in December 2012.
“The Company’s current focus, in addition to arranging financing, is to obtain all state and county permits and approvals required in order to begin construction and production at the mine. We have made steady progress in line with our internal timetable for permitting and continue to expect our permitting work to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014 with mine construction and initial production expected to commence by the end of 2014,” Mr. Ashcroft stated.
About Stonegate Agricom Ltd.
Stonegate Agricom, which is actively engaged in acquiring and developing agricultural nutrient projects, is currently focused on the development of the potentially world-class, long-life Paris Hills Phosphate Project located in Idaho. The Company is confident that the deposit has sufficient size and grade to become a strategic, cost-effective source of phosphate supply for major fertilizer producers. On December 10, 2012, Stonegate announced it had completed a Feasibility Study for an underground mine in the Lower Phosphate Zone at Paris Hills, producing an average 904,000 tonnes annually of direct-ship, phosphate rock concentrate (no processing plant required) over a 19-year mine life. The Feasibility Study also cited Mineral Resource estimates for a potential expansion into the Upper Phosphate Zone at Paris Hills and recommended additional phosphate exploration targets on the property. Additional information is available in a Technical Report entitled “Amended and Restated NI 43-101 Technical Report Paris Hills Phosphate Project Bloomington, Idaho, USA” effectively dated January 18, 2013 and amended and restated as of July 8, 2013. The report is available on the Stonegate website at www.stonegateagricom.com and at www.sedar.com. The contents of this news release have been reviewed and approved by Daniel Thompson, P.E., Manager, Technical Services, Paris Hills Agricom Inc., who is a qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” and “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable law. Generally, forward-looking statements and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved”. All forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are based on reasonable assumptions that have been made by the Company as at the date of such information. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, including but not limited to: risks relating to assumptions used in preparation of the Feasibility Study and Pre-Feasibility Study on the Lower Phosphate Zone of the Paris Hills Phosphate Project including government regulation, phosphate prices, labour costs and capital costs, and project risks including project location, permitting requirements, project delays, ground control and dilution and water management; the general risks associated with the speculative nature of the Company’s business, commodity prices, current global financial conditions, uncertainty of additional capital and completion of the Lease Facility through Macquarie, price volatility, the Paris Hills Phosphate Project being a development stage project, limited operating history, no history of earnings, government regulation in the mining industry, environmental risks and hazards, impending climate change legislation, required approvals and permits, foreign subsidiaries, risks relating to the retention of the Paris Hills Phosphate Project, expiration of leases and permits for the Paris Hills Phosphate Project, title to mineral properties, obtaining surface rights, community relations and project support, water rights, exploration, development and operating risks, uncertainty in the estimation of mineral reserves and resources, uncertainty of inferred mineral resources, mineral exploration, risks associated with having a controlling shareholder, arbitrary offering price, dilution to the common shares, dependence on key personnel, currency fluctuations, insurance and uninsured risks, competition, legal proceedings, conflicts of interest and lack of dividends as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recently filed annual information form available at www.sedar.com. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements and forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements or information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. The forward-looking statements and forward-looking information contained in this press release are included for the purpose of providing investors with information to assist them in understanding the Company’s expected financial and operational performance and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Stonegate does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement or forward-looking information that is included herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
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