Steppe Gold provides loan for the expansion of its flagship mine in Mongolia
That’s about half of the initial investment required for the phase two expansion, which was estimated at $128 million in a feasibility study last month.
Steppe said $59.7 million of the debt principal came from the national Gold-2 program, facilitated by the central bank.
The additional $5 million was a prepaid gold sale loan from the Mongolian Trade and Development Bank.
“The company is very encouraged by the confidence placed in us by major Mongolian financial institutions,” said Steppe Chairman and CEO Bataa Tumur-Ochir.
“This is a tremendous vote of support for Steppe Gold, for Mongolia’s mining industry and will add value to Mongolia’s export earnings and foreign exchange reserve position.”
Steppe said it plans to raise around $1.75 million to help fund the expansion through its planned cross-listing on the Mongolian Stock Exchange.
Tumur-Ochir said Steppe believes 2022 will be the year of rapid growth and expansion with full production and additional funding for phase two.
Production began at ATO in April 2020, with the phase two expansion expected to more than double production to 150,000 ounces of gold per year.
Phase two is expected to extend ATO’s mine life to 12.5 years, produce gross revenue of $1.72 billion and EBITDA of $584 million, with an AISC site of $853/oz of gold equivalent, according to the feasibility study.
It was backed up by a “dramatic” resource update earlier this year that doubled the resource to 2.45 million ounces Au-eq.
Steppe said it has all major permits to accelerate development.
Despite “significant headwinds” from COVID lockdowns, border closures and supply chain issues, Tumur-Ochi said Steppe continued large-scale mining and stacking operations in 2021. .
It had reported revenue of $10.8 million for the June quarter and ended the period with cash and cash equivalents of approximately $26.8 million.
Its Toronto-listed stock (TSX:STGO) rose 4.8% yesterday, but has fallen around 40% over the past year, with its close of C$1.30 valuing it at $82 million ( US$49 million).