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Hancock seeks debt finance in Singapore for USD 7 billion Roy Hill project
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Friday, 07 Dec 2012

Senior officials from Australia's Hancock Prospecting have been in Singapore this week trying to raise the first tranche of the USD 7 billion required to develop its Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia, which has a potential production capacity of 55 million tonne per annum.

The company in a statement said that accompanied by Australia's Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson, the officials have met with export credit agencies or ECAs from South Korea, Japan and the US with the aim of raising USD 4 billion in project finance. The balance USD 3 billion is expected to come from Australian and international banks.

The Perth based iron ore developer said in the statement it has met with to two Japanese ECAs, two from South Korea and one from the US. An ECA is an entity that provides government-backed loans.

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Mr Barry Fitzgerald CEO of Roy Hill in the statement said that the Hancock officials have provided technical and financial details of the Roy Hill project to satisfy the due diligence requirements of the ECAs, and the positive feedback the company had received has been extremely encouraging.

Securing finance for project has taken longer than Hancock had hoped because of the tight global credit market and a fall in commodity prices. Debt funding is now expected to be finalized next year rather than in 2012, pushing back the likely start date for exports to 2015 from late 2014.

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