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Avesoro receives approval for revised debt repayment terms

Avesoro Resources Inc. said Jan. 31 that it has received approval from lenders Nedbank Ltd. and FirstRand Bank Ltd. on revised debt repayment terms that will allow the company to generate a prudent level of cash reserves from the New Liberty gold mine, part of the Bea Mountain project in Liberia, before repayments commence.

No further capital repayments will be due until March 31, 2018, under the restructured terms, with the senior facility loan tenor extended to Jan. 31, 2022, and the subordinated facility tenor extended to the earlier of 12 months after the repayment of the senior facility or Jan. 31, 2023.

Avesoro also said that certain covenants under the previous agreement, including the cash sweep mechanism obliging the company to use surplus cash generated by the mine to accelerate loan payments, were removed, allowing the company to spend on value-enhancing activities including project expansion and exploration.

In exchange for the revisions, non-executive Chairman Mehmet Nazif Gunal provided a personal guarantee over the obligations of the finance facility and Avesoro Holdings Ltd., which owns a 73.5% stake in Avesoro Resources, provided a corporate guarantee.

In October 2016, the company raised about US$72 million through a share issue for debt repayment and its transition to an owner-operator mining model.