Firestone Diamonds plc said it has satisfied all of the outstanding conditions required to drawdown the US$82.4 million project finance facility for the Liqhobong Mine Development Project provided to it by Absa Bank Limited.
The AIM-quoted diamond development company stated that it has received its first drawdown of US$7.6 million under the facility.
Firestone said the facility is part of the group’s overall funding package to fund the project expenditure through to completion, with initial production anticipated to occur during Q4 2016.
“Following the finalising of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation SOC Ltd insurance cover for the majority of the Facility, and the hedging of 50 percent of the interest on the Facility, the total effective cost for the Facility, based on the current three month US LIBOR and including all finance and insurance related charges and costs, is approximately 10.0 percent per annum,” the company revealed.
To date it has drawn down US$20 million of the US$30 million available pursuant to the Eurobond facility provided by Pacific Road and RCF.
Firestone is advancing the Lesotho based project and as at the end of August 2015, it had spent a total of approximately R959 million against a total budget for the Project of R2 billion and the Project remains within the original US$185.4 million budget and fully funded through to production ramp up.
“With 43 percent of the Project completed as at the end of August 2015, Liqhobong remains on schedule for initial production to commence during Q4 2016.”