BCI Minerals has received $650 million worth of project finance debt for its wholly owned Mardie salt and potash project.
According to BCI, the Mardie project will be the first major salt project developed in Australia in two decades and the only Australian operation to produce commercially saleable salt. The project is located alongside the Pilbara coast in Western Australia.
The new finance package for the Mardie project includes $650 million worth of Australian Federal Government funding, where $490 million was received from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for a 15-year facility, and $160 million was received from Export Finance Australia (EFA) for an 11-year facility.
Commercial bank funding was said to include $180 million for a seven-year construction facility, $81 million for a cost overrun facility, and a $70 million bank guarantee facility for bonds required under construction or operating contracts.
BCI expects to be able to announce credit approvals from two leading commercial banks for a minimum of $150 million soon.
“Securing $650 million of long-term project finance approvals is an important milestone for the Mardie project, which helps underpin the completion of the project,” BCI Minerals managing director David Boshoff said.
“The participation of NAIF and EFA is a sign of confidence in the technical, economic and green credentials of the project, and is a strong validation of Mardie’s potential. BCI will now progress to obtain the remaining credit approvals required, complete the project finance, and seek to raise the required equity for Mardie salt.”
The majority of Mardie’s industrial grade salt production is expected to be exported to markets in Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia and other Asian countries.