PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A number of major Chinese financial institutions have expressed interest in providing the $3-billion debt financing required to develop the Central Eyre iron project (CEIP), owner Iron Road has reported.
The company has received formal expressions of interest from the China Development Bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the China Construction Bank to provide debt financing for the development of the South Australian project.
Iron Road MD Andrew Stocks said on Wednesday that the company was preparing to coordinate due diligence processes for each of the financial institutions, following a 12-month period of due diligence activities by project partner China Railway Group, to run in parallel with the joint project commercialisation programme.
“We are very pleased to have received formal indications of financing support from these three major financial institutions, in addition to the equity interest from our project development partner China Railway Group,” said Stocks.
“Significantly, the banks have also signalled that China Railway is an important strategic partner given its status as one of China’s largest State-owned enterprises. This is a key step towards the development of the CEIP.”
The $3.4-billion CEIP is expected to produce around 20-million tonnes a year over a mine life of at least 30 years.
China Railway is expected to take some 10-million tonnes a year of concentrate from the CEIP and has proposed an equity investment at both company and project levels.