TVI Affiliate Secures US$23 Million Low Interest Financing for Development of its Balabag Gold/Silver Project
TSX: TVI OTCQX: TVIPF
CALGARY, March 12, 2013 /CNW/ - TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX: TVI) (OTCQX: TVIPF) ("TVI" or the "Company"), announced today that its Philippine affiliate, TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc. ("TVIRD") has signed a nonbinding term sheet (the "Term Sheet") with Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company ("Metrobank" or the "Lender") for a US $20 million term loan facility (the "Facility") for its Balabag Gold/Silver project, located approximately 75 kilometres (47 miles) east-northeast of TVI's Canatuan mine on the Island of Mindanao, Philippines. Metrobank previously provided debt financing to TVIRD for its Canatuan Mine, all of which has been fully repaid. Measured by assets, Metrobank is the Philippines' second largest bank.
The purpose of the Facility is to support the development of the proposed Balabag Mine by providing TVIRD with additional working capital funding for construction and commissioning activities and to support mining and processing activities.
The Term of the Facility is three (3) years and provides for a one (1) year grace period before repayments are to commence, spread equally over eight quarterly periods, beginning at the end of the 5th quarter. The interest rate of the Facility is to be set at 90-day Libor plus 250 basis points (approximately 3%), to be fixed on a quarterly basis.
The Facility is accompanied also by an additional US $3 million Letter of Credit ("LOC"), available to TVIRD for a 180 day period at the prevailing market rate.
The Facility and LOC contemplate that the obligations of TVIRD under those instruments will be secured by the Balabag off-take agreement and Balabag Mining Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), a Continuing Surety Agreement to be provided by TVI, the equipment and facilities at Balabag, and a US $5 million deposit that will be releasable upon the Balabag mine site moving into operation.
Mr. Clifford M. James, Chairman and CEO of TVI states, "We are pleased to conclude these financing discussions with Metrobank and to be provided the opportunity to move forward with Balabag once the remaining required permits are received. With the Term Sheet, we have addressed a further integral step in our efforts to establish commercial production at our Balabag Gold project."
Balabag Project Development Status
TVIRD continues to progress with success the critical elements to advance the development of the Balabag project, targeting plant construction by the second half of 2013 and first doré production by Q1 of 2014. Significant achievements include:
|a.||The removal of all remaining illegal miners from the property. This is now complete with the enforcement of the Cease and Desist Order (CDO) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The CDO was enforced by the inter-agency efforts of the Provincial Government, Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on 23-25 October 2012.|
|b.||Endorsement of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in February 2013 by the EMB technical review committee to the DENR office for the approval and issuance of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). The Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility document package is expected to be completed by the second quarter 2013 following the approval of the ECC.|
|c.||Completion of an all-weather 10-km access road to the mine as part of the pre-development work. This road will serve as the main access for equipment and product transport.|
|d.||Completion of plant design and equipment sizing. This was part of an update of the internal feasibility study that was previously submitted to the MGB.|
|e.||Confirmation of community and Local Government Units' (LGU) acceptance and support through the continuing establishment of Community Relations and Development Programs.|
|f.||Recommencement of the exploration drilling program in January 2013, enabling the Company to continue its in-fill and extension assessment of the orebody.|
About TVI Pacific Inc. (TSX: TVI) (OTCQX: TVIPF)
TVI Pacific Inc. is a Canadian resource company focused on the production, development, exploration and acquisition of resource projects in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The Company produces copper and zinc concentrates from its Canatuan mine and is advancing its Balabag Gold-Silver project towards production in 2014. TVI is a partner/operator in several joint venture projects in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea and also has an interest in an offshore Philippine oil property.
The Balabag NI 43-101 technical report dated June 23, 2012, and entitled "NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Balabag Gold Project, Zamboanga Province, Philippines" is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on TVI's website at www.tvipacific.com. The technical report, which incorporates results of drilling completed to the end of June 2011, provides estimates of an indicated mineral resource of 1.78 million tonnes averaging 2.34 grams per tonne of gold and 72.3 grams per tonne of silver containing 134,262 ounces of gold and 4,148,196 ounces of silver.
Yulo Perez, Chief Operations Officer, TVIRD, a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101, has approved the scientific and the technical information contained within this press release.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the information contained herein.
Cautionary Statement - Forward-Looking Information
This News Release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are often, but not always, identified by the use of words such as "seek", "anticipate", "plan", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "intend", "could", "might", "should", "believe" and similar expressions. In particular, this News Release contains forward-looking information respecting: (i) the terms of the Facility and the LOC, the use of funds borrowed pursuant to the Facility and the security to be provided in relation to both the Facility and the LOC; and (ii) the anticipated timing of plant construction at Balabag and establishment of commercial production at Balabag.
Forward-looking statements are based upon the opinions and expectations of management of the Company, as at the effective date of such statements and, in certain cases, information provided by third parties. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, and that information obtained from third party sources is reliable, it can give no assurance that those expectations will prove to have been correct. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or outcomes to differ materially from those anticipated or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, such things as the completion of satisfactory due diligence, and the occurrence of events that could have a material adverse effect on the business, operations, property or financial condition of the Company and its affiliates, including the volatility of prices for precious metals and base metals, commodity supply and demand, fluctuations in currency and interest rates, inherent risks associated with the exploration and development of mining properties, ultimate recoverability of mineral reserves, timing, results and costs of exploration and development activities, the inability to obtain required regulatory approvals (at all or on terms and conditions satisfactory to TVIRD) new laws (domestic or foreign) and changes in administrative practices. In relation to the Facility and the LOC such risk factors also included but are not limited to the Company's ability to successfully negotiate the definitive agreements relating to the Facility and LOC and the security to be granted to the Lender. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance upon the forward-looking statements contained in this News Release and such forward-looking statements should not be interpreted or regarded as guarantees of future outcomes.
Forward-looking information respecting the anticipated use of proceeds from the Facility and the timing of plant construction and establishment of commercial production at Balabag are based upon various assumptions and factors, including the Company's current business strategy, budgets, mine plans and projects, all of which are subject to change, the current status of construction efforts at Balabag that all required regulatory approvals will be obtained on terms and conditions satisfactory to TVIRD and in a timely manner, and TVIRD's experience in bringing its Canatuan property into production. Forward-looking information respecting the timing of funding and terms and conditions upon which the Facility and LOC to be made available are based upon the Term Sheet and discussions with the Lender.
The forward-looking statements of the Company contained in this News Release are expressly qualified, in their entirety, by this cautionary statement. Various risks to which the Company is exposed in the conduct of its business are described in detail in the Company's management's discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2011 and the Company's amended Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2011, which were filed on SEDAR on March 20, 2012 and are available under the Company's profile at www.sedar.com. Subject to applicable securities laws, the Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly revise the forward-looking statements included in this news release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance upon the forward-looking statements contained in this news release and such forward-looking statements should not be interpreted or regarded as guarantees of future outcomes.
SOURCE TVI Pacific Inc.