Swiss giant Trafigura’s $100m debt facility for Venturex’s Sulphur Springs copper/zinc project

9th August 2019
Resources Rising Stars

Shares in Venturex ticked higher after the company announced a $100 million project debt facility and offtake agreement with Swiss commodity trading giant Trafigura for its Sulphur Springs copper and zinc project in the Pilbara (reports The West Australian).

The Northern Star Resources-backed company said the pre-payment facility would be repaid through the supply of future copper and zinc concentrate production from Sulphur Springs, which lies 144km south of Port Hedland.

The two will also discuss the possibility of a $US15 million ($22.2 million) cost overrun facility.

Venturex managing director AJ Saverimutto said securing the support of a long-term strategic partner of the size and calibre of Trafigura was a huge step forward for the company and a major endorsement of the quality of the project, the robustness of the feasibility study and the soundness of the development strategy.

“Sulphur Springs represents one of the very few greenfield development assets in the base metals space globally, and we are extremely pleased to have secured a strategic funding and long-term off-take partner to support our development strategy moving forward,” he said.

“Together with the other expressions of interest we have received from other potential financing groups, we are now confident of being able to finalise a total funding package to allow us to move ahead with development of this substantial new Australian copper-zinc project.”

Venturex completed a definitive feasibility study on Sulphur Springs last year which put a price tag on the project of $169 million.

The study outlined a base case 1.25 million tonne-a-year open pit and underground project forecast to produce 65,000tpa of copper concentrate and 75,000tpa of zinc concentrate.

The project is forecast to generate revenue of $2.625 billion, free cash-flow of $818 million, and a pre-tax NPV of $472 million.

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