Winner: Mantoverde Copper Mine
Mantos Copper, a large Chilean mining company, is going to be churning out the red metal for a long time to come. Financing secured over the past year will not only increase output, but also adds decades to the mine’s life.
The company locked in $847 million in financing from different sources for its brownfield Mantoverde expansion and to guarantee its high-standard environmental and social commitments. The financing package earned it the award for Mining Financing of the Year.
“The financing obtained by Mantos Copper is an important milestone in the overall transformation strategy of converting our operating assets from short life, high-cost operations to long life, low-cost operations,” John Dyer, CFO of Mantos Copper, tells LatinFinance.
The Mantoverde sulphide project included an equity component, with Mitsubishi Materials Corporation acquiring a 30% stake for $275 million, and a debt financing component more than double that amount. The $571.6 million financing package involved top-level banks and credit agencies, including mandated lead arrangers Banco de Crédito e Inversiones (BCI), Export Finance Australia, BNP Paribas, MUFG Bank, ING Capital, Natixis, and Societe Generale.
Mantoverde, located in Chile’s northern Atacama region, will complete construction in the second half of 2023. Copper output will increase to approximately 122,000 tons/year and gold to 30,000 ounces. The project will extend mine life to at least 2041. The mine has an estimated 5.7 million tons of cooper resources.
The company’s total copper output will increase to 200,000 tons/year of copper. It also operates the Mantos Blancos open pit mine, located in the Antofagasta region to the north Mantoverde. It is currently in the final stages of an upgrade at that mine, known as the Mantos Blancos Concentrator Debottlenecking Project. It secured $250 million in financing for that project in 2019.
The Mantoverde deal will also allow the company to reach the Copper Mark, the mining industry’s framework for responsible operating practices.
“Mantos Copper is committed to the highest standards of ESG and is aiming to achieve the Copper Mark for responsible production by 2024,” says Dyer.
A part of the company’s ESG commitment, 100% of water used by the mine is provided by a desalination plant, thereby allowing Mantos to provide underground water included in it contract to local communities. In addition, 50% of the power used by the mining operation will come from renewable sources by 2025.
“Mantos Copper also plays an important role in developing small businesses in the region, and improving the education in local communities,” Dyer adds.
Orion Resource Partners, Audley Mining Advisors, Mitsubishi Material Corp.
Mandated Lead Arrangers: BNP Paribas, ING, MUFG, Natixis, Societe Generale, Banco de Credito e Inversiones, Export Finance Australia
Norton Rose Fulbright, Simmons & Simmons, Baker McKenzie
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