26/09/2008 - 10:25

St Barbara signs $20m loan with GE

26/09/2008 - 10:25

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Gold miner St Barbara Ltd has signed a $20 million agreement with lender GE Commercial Finance to fund ongoing development at its Gwalia mine in Western Australia.

St Barbara signs $20m loan with GE

Gold miner St Barbara Ltd has signed a $20 million agreement with lender GE Commercial Finance to fund ongoing development at its Gwalia mine in Western Australia.

St Barbara has already drawn down funds from the four-year facility and is using them to complete the mining infrastructure at the Gwalia site.

The miner's chief financial officer Garth Campbell-Cowan said Gwalia is the cornerstone of the company's Leonora operations.

"The funding from GE will contribute to the further development of the Gwalia minesite to extend it beyond its current life expectancy of nine years," Mr Campbell-Cowan said.

St Barbara's key assets include its Southern Cross and Leonora operations, both of which are located in WA. The Leonora operations comprise the Gwalia processing plant, together with the underground mine and open pit developments.

The assets financed by GE include a refrigeration plant, surface ventilation fans, accommodation units and a paste fill plant, which are integral to the operation of the Gwalia mine.

Mr Campbell-Cowan said while financing specific equipment is nothing unusual, GE's approach to the finance facility really set the financier apart from traditional lenders.

"The equipment we needed to fund was constructed over a period of time and GE came up with a way to structure the finance that allowed the company to draw down on the facility progressively during the construction phase," he said.

"Along with GE's financial expertise, which was highlighted during the due diligence process, this flexibility was key for us."

Production at Gwalia is scheduled to commence this month and will accelerate over the next six months.

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