Canadian-based Tiberon Minerals Ltd (TBR:TSX) is pleased to announce that it has accepted a proposal from WestLB AG for a US$10 million two-year convertible loan facility. The proceeds of this facility will be used to fund the development of Tiberon’s 77.5%-owned Nui Phao tungsten/fluorspar deposit in Vietnam, and represents the first facility of this nature provided by WestLB AG to finance development of a mining operation. WestLB AG and Fortis Bank S.A./N.V. were appointed in August 2004 as exclusive Structuring Banks and Lead Arrangers for the debt financing of Nui Phao.
“As we have stated, management continues to evaluate financing alternatives that will enhance shareholder value. We are very pleased with the terms of this facility, which will be used to continue to move the Nui Phao project forward,” said Mario Caron, Tiberon’s President and CEO. “This announcement represents another step toward our goal of achieving commercial production at Nui Phao which is planned for early 2008.”
Closing of the convertible loan facility, expected in mid-April, is subject to satisfactory negotiation, completion of final documentation and TSX approval. The proposed commercial terms of the loan are comparable to those of transactions similar in nature. Funds will be available for drawdown for a period of six-months from closing, and the maturity date will be not more than two-years from closing. The facility incorporates a standstill non-convertible period lasting six-months from the date of closing, during which time the lender is prohibited from selling short any shares of Tiberon. Subsequent to the non-convertible period, WestLB AG has the right to convert the loan outstanding into common shares of Tiberon at any time up to maturity.
Tiberon can prepay any funds drawn on the facility prior to the end of the non-convertible period. The facility is secured during the non-convertibility period through assignment of Tiberon’s 77.5% interest in the Nuiphaovica Joint Venture Co The facility will act as a bridge financing through completion of metallurgical testing, completion of the final feasibility study and finalisation of off take agreements for the principal commodities to be produced by the Nui Phao mine.
About WestLB AG
WestLB AG is a European commercial bank with firm roots in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s largest federal state. With Group total assets of 281.9 billion euro as at June 30, 2004, it is one of Germany’s leading financial services providers. WestLB has been an active player in the global project finance market since the early 1990s.
About Tiberon Minerals
Tiberon Minerals Ltd is poised to become a major low-cost producer of tungsten, fluorspar, copper, gold and bismuth through development of its Nui Phao property in Vietnam. Nui Phao contains 53 million tonnes of proven and probable reserves, making it one of the largest tungsten-fluorspar deposits located outside China. The Nui Phao Mine is expected to generate average annual after-tax cash flow of US$38 million (100% project basis) during the current 16-year mine life. Tiberon’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TBR. There are currently 40.9 million shares outstanding.