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Guyana Goldfields reduces US$160M debt facility to US$80M

Guyana Goldfields Inc. on Dec. 21 said it refinanced a US$160 million debt facility, reducing it to US$80 million.

The new facility will be repaid in 16 quarterly principal installments of US$5 million each over a four-year period starting March 31, 2017.

The new facility also removes certain covenants and restrictions including the release of US$23 million of restricted funds held by the lenders, the elimination of cash sweeps and a 1.3% reduction in the interest rate.

The arrangement was made with a consortium of existing lenders comprising ING Capital LLC, The Bank of Nova Scotia and Export Development Canada. The facility was secured by the company and its subsidiary AGM Inc. in September 2014 for the Aurora gold mine in Guyana.

The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company's EPS for the fourth quarter will take a one-time, noncash charge of US$8 million in deferred financing costs.

Guyana Goldfields estimates annual cost savings of approximately US$4.5 million over the term of the facility.

The restructuring will reduce Guyana Goldfields' debt 50%, to US$80 million, in 2016 with the company expected to end the year with a cash balance of US$64 million.

Guyana Goldfields raised C$144.1 million in August to fund an expansion at Aurora, which achieved commercial production at the start of this year.