Australia: Norton Rose Fulbright acts for Tiger Resources on the refinancing of the Kipoi Copper Project
Last Updated: 9 February 2016

A cross-border team from global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright advised ASX-listed Tiger Resources on its $162.5 million senior debt facility with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private arm of the World Bank Group, and Taurus Mining Finance Fund in respect of the Kipoi Copper Project. This project is located in the central part of the Katanga Copper Belt of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The new senior debt facility served to refinance Tiger's existing debt facilities with Taurus and Gerald Metals (Tiger's exclusive offtaker) as well as to provide approximately US$25 million to fund the expansion of Kipoi. The expansion aims to increase the capacity of the SXEW plant from 25,000tpa to 32,500tpa of copper cathode by November this year.

The senior debt is secured by cross border security over the Tiger group entities, including in the DRC, British Virgin Islands, Australia, South Africa, and Mauritius. Implementing the security structure involved complex coordination with Norton Rose Fulbright global network and affiliate firms across each of these jurisdictions.

In conjunction with the debt facility, Tiger successfully undertook an equity capital raising via a share placement and an accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer to raise gross proceeds of approximately US$22 million, with commitments received from IFC and by Tiger's existing shareholder, Resource Capital Funds.

A Norton Rose Fulbright team spanning Perth, Melbourne, Johannesburg, Paris and Houston combined to advise on the debt facility and equity capital raising.

Norton Rose Fulbright partner Jake Howard commented:

"Achieving the support of both IFC and Taurus, particularly at a time of low copper prices, demonstrates significant confidence in Tiger's management and that the fundamentals for the Kipoi project are sound. This financing not only provides a long term funding solution for Tiger but also supports the expansion of its SXEW plant, which will result in a significant reduction of Tiger's production costs.  We are very happy to have assisted Tiger to reach this significant milestone.  We are proud of our strong African mining practice and our ability deliver results in challenging jurisdictions."

The lead partners for the debt financing were Jake Howard (Perth), Poupak Bahamin (Paris) and Steve Chemaly (Johannesburg), while James Stewart (Melbourne) led the equity capital raising. They were assisted by Christian Navarro, Kagiso Maine and Katherine Werren in Perth, Chris Mitchell in Melbourne, Sabine Bertin in Paris and Fabio Miceli and Ntombentsha Odolo in Johannesburg.

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