Canadian company Aureus Mining has mandated South African banks Nedbank and Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) to arrange project debt facilities of up to US$108mn.

The banks will provide the six-year facility to Bea Mountain Mining Corporation, the operator of Aureus Mining’s New Liberty Gold Project in the Republic of Liberia and will approach the South African export credit agency, Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC), for support in the financing as well as political and commercial risk insurance. The facilities will not have any mandatory gold hedging as part of the lending terms.

David Reading, president and CEO of Aureus says: “To achieve an overall cost of capital of 5% is an excellent outcome and endorses the quality of the New Liberty Project. We are delighted to welcome Nedbank and RMB as key partners in providing the debt component of what will be a significant step in harnessing Liberia’s potential in becoming West Africa’s newest gold district. The project is advancing rapidly, with early civil and earthworks making good progress and the optimisation due to be finalised shortly.”

The project, which is set to be the first commercial gold mine in Liberia, has its first gold pour scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2014.