Banro Corp To Fund Congolese Operations With Instruments Tied To Output

Banro mine

VENTURES AFRICA – Gold-mining company, Banro Corp, plans to fund its Congolese operations with a financial instrument tied to output and the price of gold, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday.

The respected international newspaper said this deal was the first of its kind for the industry.

WSJ said this is part of a financing package of up to $90 million to fund the Canada-listed company’s second gold project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Namoya development is forecast to produce 140.000 troy ounces of gold with first production slated for the fourth quarter, the newspaper reported.

Banro would issue $40 million in preferred shares denominated in gold ounces to BlackRock, World Mining Trust, a unit of BlackRock Inc., the company’s largest shareholder. These shares will bear a quarterly cash dividend based on gold output.

In terms of the deal, Banro has the option to raise another $20 million through a similar issue on or before the last date for the share redemption.

WSJ reported that yields on investments were currently low and the cost of issuing equity high as a result of low market valuations for many miners—particularly small gold miners,

According to Simon Catt, a managing partner at GMP Securities who helped coordinate the deal, yields on investments were currently low and the cost of issuing equity high as a result of low market valuations for many miners—particularly small gold miners. Catt said: “We believe there are retail funds…searching for yield at the moment.”

Banro Chief Executive Simon Village described the deal as attractive because it provided a yield of between 8 to 13 percent for BlackRock.