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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        30  May 2011

G-Resources Eyes Loans

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G-Resources Group, which controls gold and silver mines in North Sumatra through local unit Agincourt Resources, hopes to secure US$225 million in bank loans to finance its capital expenditure, its chief executive has said.

The Hong Kong-listed investment holding company has mandated a lead arranger to arrange the debt facility that will help finance $576 million of estimated capital costs needed to produce its first gold by the end of this year.

G-Resources expects to join the ranks of large, foreign-owned gold miners operating in Indonesia in the next few years. It hopes to turn its Martabe mine in Batang Toru, North Sumatra, into an operation producing 250,000 ounces of gold and 2 million to3 million ounces of silver annually, with an annual target of one million ounces of gold in five years’ time.

G-Resources acquired Martabe from Australian gold and copper miner OZ Minerals in 2009 for $220 million.

“We haven’t told the market who those banks are. The lead arranger is talking to other banks,” Peter Albert, chief executive of G-Reources, told the Jakarta Globe in an interview last week.

He declined to name the banks, but he said the debt facility was expected to be secured in June and available for draw down in the third quarter.

The bank loans will help G-Resources finance around $359 million of its remaining spending from April to the end of this year.

“The fastest burn of our money is now,” said Albert, who was the executive general manager for Asia at OZ Minerals before joining G-Resources.

He also said the end of December was a reachable target for production. “We have done most of the work. It is just a matter finishing,” he said.

The 1,639-square-kilometer Martabe project has an estimated 6.5 million ounces of gold and 66.4 million ounces of silver in its reserves. Its working contract was signed in April 1997, but the construction permit for the project was granted in April 2008.

G-Resources is not obliged to divest ownership to Indonesian parties, though it said it would give a 5 percent stake to the local government.

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