US$110M Debt Facilities For Galena’s Abra Project

GALENA MINING (ASX:G1A) announces that Abra Mining Pty Limited, the joint-venture company for the Abra Base Metals Project has mandated Taurus Funds Management Pty Ltd to provide US$110 million in project financing debt facilities to be provided by its Taurus Mining Finance Fund

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • US$110M in Taurus Funds Management debt facilities for Abra Base Metals Project:
    • US$100M term loan; and
    • US$10M cost overrun facility
  • Galena’s project partner Toho supports the facilities and their A$60M additional equity investment into Abra will be released alongside facility milestones
  • A$20M expenditure (~12%) has already been completed on the Project and Abra site is prepared for deployment of the EPC and other key development contractors

GALENA MINING LTD. (“Galena” or the “Company”) (ASX:G1A) announces that Abra Mining Pty Limited (“AMPL”), the joint-venture company for the Abra Base Metals Project (“Abra” or the “Project”) has mandated Taurus Funds Management Pty Ltd (“Taurus”) to provide US$110 million in project financing debt facilities to be provided by its Taurus Mining Finance Fund No2 L.P. (“Lender”), made up of: a US$100 million term loan (“Project Finance Facility”); plus a US$10 million cost overrun loan (“Cost Overrun Facility”) (together, the “Taurus Debt Facilities”). Furthermore, the Taurus Debt Facilities have been approved by Galena’s co-shareholder in AMPL, Toho Zinc Co., Ltd. (“Toho”), thereby allowing the release of their final A$60 million equity investment tranche into AMPL once the facilities are in place and drawdown conditions are met.

Managing Director, Alex Molyneux commented, “The US$110 million of debt funding, together with the final A$60 million investment to be received from Toho on implementation of the facilities provides an efficient and fulsome funding package to bring the outstanding Abra base and precious metals project to fruition in a way that provides robust shareholder returns.”

TAURUS DEBT FACILITIES

The Project Finance Facility consists of a US$100 million, 69-month term loan primarily to fund capital expenditures for the development of Abra. Key terms include:

  • Fixed interest of 8.0% per annum on drawn amounts, payable quarterly in arrears.
  • Arrangement fee of 2.5% and commitment fee of 2.0% on undrawn amounts.
  • No mandatory hedging.
  • Early repayment allowed without penalty.
  • US$30 million drawable until the previously announced infill drilling is complete (see Galena ASX announcement of 8 July 2020). The remainder will be drawable once the infill drilling is incorporated into the cash flow model and the model continues forecast compliance with lock up financial ratios.

Read the full press release here.

Source

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Zlaťáky.cz / Pexels

"I think that (investment demand is) going to be kind of the wild card that could really push silver much higher," said Peter Krauth of Silver Stock Investor.

Peter Krauth: Silver Price in 2022, Can Anything Derail the Metal Now? youtu.be

Peter Krauth, editor of Silver Stock Investor, has a long-term silver price target of US$300 per ounce. But what does he see coming for the white metal in 2022?

Speaking at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, Krauth said he thinks a realistic move for silver this year would be "to at least US$25, or a little bit north of US$25."

In his opinion, industrial demand will create a key price floor, while investment demand will be less predictable.

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Galena Mining

Capitalizing on its low-risk Tier 1 asset in a Tier 1 jurisdiction, strengthened by partnerships with one of the world's top base metals trading firms.



Company Highlights

  • Completed a bankable feasibility study (BFS):
    • 16 year lifespan producing high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate
    • Pre-tax NPV of A$553M at spot prices
    • C1 direct cash cost to be among the lowest for global primary lead producers at US$0.44/lb
    • Estimated pre-production capital expenditure of A$170M
    • Higher NPV, longer mine life and lower C1 direct cash cost compared to PFS
  • Major partnerships include Toho Zinc, Japan's largest zinc and lead smelter and IXM SA, one of the top three base metals trading firms in the world.
  • The Abra project is located in the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia, home to one of the largest undeveloped lead deposits in the world and the highest-grade lead concentrate available globally.
    • The Abra project carries a JORC estimate of 16.7 Mt at 8.5 percent lead and 24 g/t silver in the indicated category and 24.4 Mt at 6.5 percent lead and 14 g/t silver in the inferred category.
    • The Abra project has been named the world's lowest cost primary lead mine by Wood Mackenzie, a leading mining research and consultancy group.
  • Initial construction activities have been commenced, with the project being "shovel ready" to commence the plant construction and deployment of the mining contractor.
  • US$110 million of project financing debt facilities have been procured from leading mining-specialist lending fund Taurus Funds Management.
  • Galena's management team brings decades of experience in the mining and base metals industry and has a proven track record of success throughout all stages of an exploration, from development to production.

Company Overview

Galena Mining (ASX: G1A) owns the Abra base metals project located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia — home to one of the largest lead and silver deposits in the world set to produce the highest-grade, cleanest lead concentrate available globally. The company is capitalizing on its low-risk Tier 1 asset in a Tier 1 jurisdiction, strengthened by and leveraging partnerships with Japan's largest zinc and lead smelter, as well as with one of the top base metals trading firms in the world.

Galena recently completed a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the development of a mine and processing facility with a 16 year lifespan producing high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate. Lead production is estimated at 95 kilotonnes per year while silver mining is projected to yield 805 kilo ounces annually. According to a pre-development capital expenditure estimate of AU$170 million, the BFS modelled a pre-tax net present value for Abra of AU$553 million, and an internal rate of return of 39 percent. Additionally, the project's excellent location, infrastructure, and low technical risk saw this mine named as the world's lowest cost primary lead mine by Wood Mackenzie, a leading mining research and consultancy group.

Galena's major partnerships include Toho Zinc (TSE: 5707), Japan's largest zinc and lead smelter and IXM SA, one of the world's top three base metals trading firms. Toho is providing AU$90 million project equity and has a long-term agreement to purchase 40 percent of Abra's production, while IXM has entered into a 10 year take-or-pay offtake contract to purchase the remainder.

The CEO of Galena Mining, Alex Molyneux, commented, "We have secured firm offtake arrangements for all of Abra's production with Tier 1 buyers and these arrangements reflect the premium value of Abra's high-grade concentrate product. The IXM arrangement in particular demonstrates a higher value over and above the assumptions used in the feasibility study."

The Abra project carries JORC Mineral Resource estimates of 16.7 million tonnes (Mt) at 8.5 percent lead and 24 g/t silver in the indicated category and 24.4 Mt at 6.5 percent lead and 14 g/t silver in the inferred category. This mineral resource estimate published in December 2019 was substantially upgraded following drilling during 2019. Despite being at the construction phase, Galena continues to actively drill to optimise Abra. As of late 2020, there are three drill rigs operating at Abra drilling 1,400 to 1,800 cumulative metres per week. The lead-silver orebody remains open in multiple directions and there have been exciting copper and gold intersections where mineralisation remains open at depth.

All permits for the Abra project have been obtained from the appropriate Western Australian regulatory bodies. The project is also subject to an existing land use and heritage agreement with the Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation. The Abra property is well-serviced by public roads and highways, and all the necessary infrastructure has been developed to transport lead-sulphide concentrates to the Port of Geraldton, Abra's primary export port.

The first tranches of equity investment from Toho have been used to undertake initial construction activities at Abra. This means the project now has a mined boxcut, production water facilities, the first module of its permanent accommodation village and various completed site infrastructure. It is "shovel ready" for the commencement of plant construction and deployment of the mining contractor.

The company's management team brings decades of experience in the mining and base metals industry and has a proven track record of success throughout all stages of an exploration, from development to production. Both CEO Alexander Molyneux and CFO Craig Barnes previously worked for Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN), a publicly traded uranium production company that operates two mines in Namibia and Malawi.

Taurus Fund Management, one of the world's largest investment management firms, has provided the project with US$110 million in project financing debt. Galena's CEO Molyneux commented, "The US$110 million of debt funding completes an efficient and fulsome funding package to bring the outstanding Abra base and precious metals project to fruition in a way that provides robust shareholder returns."

Key Projects

Abra Project

The Abra Base Metals Project is located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, approximately 110 kilometres from the DeGrussa copper mine owned by Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR).


galena mining project location map

Bankable Feasibility Study

Galena has recently completed a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the development of a mine and processing facility with a 16 year lifespan producing high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate. Lead production is estimated at 95 kilotons per year while silver mining is projected to yield 805 kilo ounces annually.


According to a pre-development capital expenditure estimate of AU$170 million, the BFS modelled a pre-tax net present value for Abra of AU$553 million, and an internal rate of return of 39 percent.

Ongoing Project Drilling

As of late 2020 there are three drill-rigs operating at Abra drilling 1,400 to 1,800 cumulative metres per week for infill and optimisation drilling.

Recently announced drilling results included the best high-grade lead-silver drill-hole ever at the project (hole AB147). It revealed that the mineable domain is approximately 30 metres closer to the surface than originally predicted. Significant intersections from AB147 included:

  • 5 m at 9.6 percent lead and 34 g/t silver from 266.2 m
  • 9 m at 7.3 percent lead and 20 g/t silver from 288.1 m
  • 5 m at 15.1 percent lead and 22 g/t silver from 321.8 m
  • 9 m at 17.1 percent lead and 26 g/t silver from 366.2 m

"We're astounded at the success of hole AB147 in targeting a potential 'metal rich' combination of grade and thickness on the northern part of the eastern limb of Abra's Indicated Resource area, which is shallow and close to the current plan for early decline infrastructure. We have added a number of follow-up holes around AB147 to the drilling program with the intention to bring this area into the early years of the mine plan as an optimisation," said Galena Mining's CEO and Managing Director Alex Molyneux.

Next Steps

The Abra project has received all major permits and approvals and has begun construction. The company plans to use the conventional underground mining method of long-hole open stoping with paste backfill. Shallow dipping areas will be mined using the room and pillar method. The processing plant will employ single-stage primary crushing and semi-autogenous grind million comminution to produce high-grade lead-silver concentrate.

Next steps for Galena include receiving another AU$60 million in investment tranches from Toho, hitting construction milestones and optimizing drilling results from a comprehensive drill program that was conducted in August. The company is also focused on active exploration of the Abra property to identify additional base and precious metals mineralization in the Edmund Basin.

Jillawarra Projects

The Jillawarra properties are located 20 to 80 km west of the Abra Base Metals Project within the Jillawarra sub-basin of Gascoyne, Western Australia. The Jillawarra sub-basin hosts several base metal resources, as well as manganese and gold prospects, which have been explored since the 1970s. The majority of the drilling performed on-site has investigated 100 to 200 meters below surface.

Galena has launched a continued exploration program that aims to identify additional mineralization of both base and precious metals. The primary prospective corridor lies within the fault between the Quartzite Well and the Lyons River, which extends east-west along the entire tenement package and indicates many of the same geological markers associated with the world-class Abra base metals project. Galena continues to target its Jillawarra assets through geophysics and an active drilling and exploration program.

Management Team

Alexander Molyneux - Managing Director and CEO

Alexander Molyneux is an executive and financier with 20 years of experience in the metals and mining industry. Between 2015 and 2018, Molyneux was CEO of Paladin Energy, one of the world's largest uranium companies, where he optimized its operating business and completed a US$700 million successful recapitalisation of the company and a re-listing on the ASX. Well-known for his breadth of experience in the mining industry, Molyneux serves on a number of public company boards, including: Metalla Royalty & Streaming, Argosy Minerals and Tempus Resources.

Troy Flannery - Abra Project CEO

Troy Flannery offers more than 20 years in the mining industry, including five years in corporate and 16 years in senior mining engineering and project development roles. Flannery has a degree in mining engineering as well as a master's degree in finance. He has achieved the First Class Mine Manager's Certificate of Competency. Flannery has worked at numerous mining companies, mining consultant agencies and contractors (including BHP, Newcrest, Xstrata, St. Barbara Mines and AMC Consultants).

Adrian Byass - Non-Executive Chairman

Adrian Byass has more than 20 years of experience in the mining industry both in listed and unlisted entities globally. He has served as non-executive and executive director of various listed and unlisted mining entities, which have successfully transitioned to production in bulk, precious and specialty metals around the world. He currently serves on boards of ASX phosphate, zinc, nickel and lithium companies.

Craig Barnes- Chief Financial Officer

Craig Barnes has over 20 years of experience in senior finance and financial management within the mining industry and previously the financial services industry. Barnes has considerable experience in project financing, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, treasury and implementation of accounting controls and systems.

Before joining Galena, Barnes held the position of CFO of Paladin Energy for more than five years and was part of the team that successfully completed the company's capital restructuring in 2018. Prior to that, he was the CFO of DRDGOLD and its affiliated subsidiaries for more than seven years, and he played a key role in the successful transformation of the company from an underground miner with two ultra-deep underground operations into a profitable tailings retreatment business.

Tony James -Non-Executive Director

Tony James offers more than 30 years of mine operating and project development experience predominantly in Washington. James is highly regarded for his work in building and operating base metals and offers expertise in both finance and mine construction. James has previous experience as a managing director of three ASX-listed companies with two of those companies successfully guided through a merger and takeover process to the benefit of the shareholders. He has a strong mine operating background (examples being the Kanowna Belle gold mine and the Black Swan nickel mine) and a strong feasibility study and mine development background (examples being the Pillara zinc and lead mine and the Trident Higginsville gold mine).

G1A:AU
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"I think there's more (stock market) pain ahead," said David Morgan. "I think we need that capitulation, and we need that washing away of these overvalued situations."

David Morgan: Stock Market Pain Not Over, Why Silver and Gold Aren't Higher (Yet) youtu.be

At the beginning of 2022, David Morgan, publisher of the Morgan Report, was calling for a reality check in the stock market. Halfway through the year, there's no question that it's facing a reckoning.

"I've been talking about the stock market being overvalued for quite some time, but I really sensed that this year was the year, meaning that it couldn't really go on much longer — and it hasn't," he said about the situation.

And in his view, it's not over yet — "I think there's more pain ahead. I think we need that capitulation, and we need that washing away of these overvalued situations," Morgan explained to the Investing News Network.

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silver bars

Here's everything you need to know about investing in silver bullion in Australia.

When one thinks of investing in precious metals, gold is often seen as the main option owing to its historical profile as a safe haven metal and hedge against inflation and stock market volatility. However, investors should also consider silver as an attractive alternative to gold with equal if not greater upside potential.

In a February interview with Investing News Network, David Morgan of the Morgan Report said he expects silver to break through the US$30 per ounce mark in 2022 and trade in the US$33 range. That would represent a gain of more than 30 percent over the current price of silver, which was trading in the range of US$24 to US$25 as of April.

While the price of silver tends to rise and fall alongside that of gold, silver's valuation is generally more volatile — slower to move in either direction, but more prone to abrupt spikes and plunges. Interestingly, over the last five years, the price of silver has risen by approximately 25 percent, an almost identical increase to that of gold. In addition, silver has tended to outperform gold during bull markets.


More recently, silver prices soared more than 45 percent in 2020, fell about 10 percent in 2021 and were up roughly 7 percent as of April 2022 compared to only a 5 percent gain in gold prices for the current year.

Another interesting point in favour of silver investing is how it has outperformed gold by a wide margin over the course of the precious metal rally that got underway in earnest in mid-July of last year. Since then through April 2022, silver had risen by over 30 percent as compared to only 8 percent for gold.

Certainly, most analysts expect commodity and precious metals prices in general to continue rising in 2022 in the wake of ongoing supply chain disruptions and further uncertainty due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is all the more reason for investors to consider silver as an alternative investment.

One characteristic of silver that distinguishes it from gold is its far greater role as a key industrial metal. It is estimated that industrial usage accounts for about 50 percent of overall demand for silver with the other 50 percent accounted for by silver investors and speculators, including jewelry and silverware.

Rising industrial demand for silver ― apart from being caught up in the overall rally in precious metal prices since mid-2021 ― is a major reason why the metal has outperformed gold lately. Silver is also an essential component in clean energy, particularly in the fast-growing solar energy and electrical vehicle (EV) sectors. Silver's conductivity and corrosion-resistant properties make it essential for the manufacture of conductors and electrodes.

Virtually every electrical connection in an EV uses silver, and the auto sector overall uses 55 million ounces of silver annually. Additionally, almost every computer, mobile phone and appliance is made with silver, not to mention radio frequency identification device (RFID) chips, which are currently replacing barcodes used in supermarkets and for general inventory purposes.

Australian silver market

Some shrewd investors are looking to Australia for their silver picks. A country whose silver mines continued to flourish even when most of the world was in a precious metal slump, Australia has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic as a major player in the global silver market.

When you think of mining in Australia, you may not think of silver, especially since the country is a top global producer of several other metals, including gold and iron ore. Yet silver mining has a rich history in Australia, and Australian mining and metals giant BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) started out as a silver operation in the 1920s.

Today, silver is back on the rise in Australia. Several important new silver mines have recently been opened and the potential for further exploration and production is even higher in the wake of the recent price surge of the precious metal over the last two years.

Australia is now tied with Poland and Russia as the fifth largest silver producer globally as of the end of 2021. Mines in Australia churned out 1,300 tonnes of silver in 2021, a slight drop from 1,340 tonnes in 2020.

Those looking at the Australian silver market have options. There are plenty of big players with interests in Australian silver, and many smaller players for investors to consider researching too.

Most silver comes from mines dedicated to other metals ― Glencore's (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) Mount Isa in Queensland produces mainly copper, zinc and lead, but silver is separated by the company's integrated processing streams. Glencore also operates the McArthur mine in the Northern Territory, which is primarily zinc. Between its copper and zinc assets, Glencore produced 7,404,000 ounces of silver in Australia in 2020 ― over 200 tonnes.

Elsewhere, BHP produces a lot of silver as well at the Olympic Dam operation in South Australia. Perhaps best known for the production of uranium and copper, it also yields significant silver resources to the tune of 984,000 ounces in 2020, or almost 28 tonnes.

South32 (ASX:S32,OTC Pink:SHTLF) runs Queensland's Cannington mine, which produces more silver than any other in the country. The company claims it is one of the world’s largest and lowest-cost silver producers.

Meanwhile, global demand for silver is on the rise and is expected to reach 1.11 billion ounces in 2022, an increase of nearly 100 million ounces compared to last year's record figure of 1.03 billion ounces.

All this bodes well for the price of silver in 2022 as both industrial demand and consumer demand ― in particular from India, where COVID-19 limited silver purchases in 2021 ― are expected to rise this year.

Investing in silver bullion in Australia

Investing in physical silver is the most straightforward option: you simply buy a tangible piece of the precious metal in the form of bullion, official coins or medallions. Bullion comes in the form of bars or solid silver coins with at least 99.9 percent purity. Official silver coins are currency produced by a government mint, while silver medallions resemble coins, but lack monetary value.

The price of physical silver will rise and fall alongside the metal's spot market value. Physical silver is a relatively safe investment, although if you plan to trade often, the added costs of buying, selling and storing physical silver may make the investment not worth your while.

Investments in physical silver rose by 8 percent last year, boosted by silver's status as a safe asset and market bullishness on gold. In Australia, coins and medals fabrication increased by 35 percent year-over-year.

Silver bullion bars

Minted silver bars are available for purchase in various sizes. The 1,000 ounce silver bar is the industry standard for trading, but will normally oblige an investor to pay for storage fees at a reputable bullion dealer. For investors wishing to buy silver in large quantities, cast and minted bars are the best option.

Many investors, however, will prefer to buy bullion in smaller quantities ranging from 1 ounce to 100 ounces. While some individuals may choose to store these bars in home safes, it is recommended that silver bars be kept in safety deposit boxes in banks or with the secure storage facilities provided by bullion dealers such as the Royal Australian Mint, Perth Mint, Sydney Mint and Melbourne Mint.

Silver coins

Purchasing silver coins offers the advantage of being able to buy silver bullion in smaller quantities anywhere from 1/10th of an oz to 1 oz, thereby making it easier to accumulate physical silver over time. Many minted silver coins comes with various design features that add to the cost of the coin above spot price.

Be wary of premiums

As mentioned above, purchasing special coins will cost extra compared to a basic silver ounce coin. Additionally, accumulating small amounts over time will cost more than buying the same amount in silver bars all at once.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Harold Von Kursk, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

"volatility" written on blocks with laptop
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"We are very likely going to experience the greatest silver bull market of our generation," said author and newsletter writer Peter Krauth.

Peter Krauth: Silver "Very, Very Undervalued," Ways to Play this Volatile Sector youtu.be

Peter Krauth, editor of Silver Stock Investor, joined the Investing News Network to discuss his new book, "The Great Silver Bull: Crush Inflation and Profit as the Dollar Dies."

Although gold is the most popular of the precious metals, silver has a loyal following, and Krauth believe it's set to shine brightly as market elements like inflation spiral out of control.

"It's very, very undervalued," he explained during the interview. "It's very difficult to find a better value for your money right now — silver is definitely the place for that."

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Galena Mining

GALENA MINING LTD. (“Galena” or the “Company”) (ASX: G1A) is pleased to announce that the construction progress at its Abra Base Metals Mine (“Abra” or the “Project”) has reached 63% complete on 30 April 2022. Construction achievements during the month include completion of the first 1,000m of decline development and the commencement of the mining the first underground diamond drill chamber. Both GR Engineering Services Ltd. (“GR Engineering”) and Contract Power Australia Pty. Ltd. have made excellent progress at the processing plant and the power station sites.


Managing Director, Tony James commented, “During April we were fortunate to have only 10 COVID-19 isolation cases on site, which has had limited impact on construction works. It’s a credit to the site team on how they have navigated the pandemic-related challenges to date. By the end of April, the decline has reached the 1,380mRL level which is now 67m vertically above the orebody. It's also pleasing to see the development of the first underground diamond drilling drives.

At the processing plant a total of 1,527m3 (61%) of concrete has been poured on track to reach overall design volume of 2,500m3 on schedule. The construction of the fine ore bin is nearing completion and structural steel arriving on site is being installed".

Figure 1 – Lifting of the primary jaw crusher and fine ore bin top into position.