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Norton Rose Fulbright advises on ground-breaking mining projects in Guinea

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Norton Rose Fulbright advises on ground-breaking mining projects in Guinea

15th February 2017

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Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright’s teams in London, New York, Paris, Singapore and Washington have successfully advised on two trailblazing mining projects in Guinea. The team assisted CBG in reaching financial close in connection with the financing of the expansion of its Sangaredi Bauxite Mine and also advised Alufer Mining Limited on the signing of the debt, equity and offtake documentation in connection with its Bel Air asset.

Martin McCann, global head of business, Norton Rose Fulbright, commented:

“These deals represent important milestones for CBG, Alufer and Guinea more generally, and we’re delighted to see two long-standing clients achieve strategic goals. These transactions showcase the breadth of our global mining offering, and demonstrate that we are able to seamlessly bring together experts from London, New York, Paris, Washington and Singapore in order to advise on some of the most challenging projects in the market.

“We keep being told that projects are struggling to access finance. Our experience is that finance is available; clients simply have to look to a broad spectrum of possible funders, and be willing to use innovative structures. That tends to drive new clients our way as the liquidity needs to be drawn from all over the world and having advisers that are familiar with these structures can help to de-mystify the process."

Details on the transactions:

CBG
CBG is 51 percent owned by Halco, a consortium of three major companies active in the alumina and aluminum business: Alcoa, Rio Tinto, and Dadco Alumina & Chemicals. The remaining 49 percent of CBG is owned by the Government of Guinea.

The debt financing, provided by IFC, OPIC and a number of commercial lenders, represents the largest foreign investment in Guinea and one of the largest mining financings in recent years. The investment will support an expansion of the Sangaredi bauxite mine that CBG has been operating since 1973, as well as helping to improve local infrastructure.

The London, New York, Paris and Washington team worked together on all aspects of the transaction, which has taken more than two years to come to fruition. The team was led by Martin McCann in London, assisted by Daniel Giemajner. Support was provided by Michael Pikiel and Felicity Brown.

Alufer
Alufer, an independent mineral exploration and development company, secured equity investment from RCF, AFC and Orion Mine Finance (provided through a mixture of equity and convertible debt) as well as a senior debt facility to be provided by Orion Mine Finance. The first tranche of equity will be provided before the end of the year, with the remaining equity and debt being provided during the course of 2017.

Norton Rose Fulbright advised on all aspects of the transaction, including the debt and equity documents, as well as the complex long-term offtake arrangements to be entered into with Orion Mine Finance. The transaction was closed in challenging circumstances, within an extremely tight timeframe.

The signing of binding agreements represents an important landmark for Alufer, which will now move into 2017 having laid strong foundations for the project financing of its Bel Air mine.

The debt and offtake team in London was led by Martin McCann, supported by James Rennard, Lisa Koch and Daniel Giemajner. The equity team was led by Nick Adams, supported by Nariman Armaly. Poupak Bahamin provided support on OHADA and Guinean law issues, while Dan Perera provided support on the offtake arrangements.

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