Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart has bagged what is being claimed as the largest ever financing package following the closure of the deal in Singapore.
On Thursday night, Roy Hill Holdings – a company which is 70 percent owned by Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting – announced it has secured $7.2 billion worth of financing for its flagship Roy Hill iron ore mining project located in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The new arrangement completes the $10 billion worth of funding required for the project following earlier commitments from Roy Hill shareholders, which along with Hancock include Japan’s Marubeni Corporation, South Korea’s POSCO and China Steel Corporation.
Commenced in 2011, the project is now almost 30 percent complete and involves development of the Marra Mamba iron ore deposit located in the Pilbara, including development of the mine and processing plant, a purpose built export facility at Port Hedland and a 344 kilometre heavy haulage single-line railway to transport ore from the plant.
Once operational, the mine will operate at a capacity of 55 million tonnes per annum over an expected life of more than twenty years.
The company currently employs around 2,500 construction workers for the project – a number it expects to bulk up to a peak of 3,600.
Rinehart welcomed the funding – a delay in securing of which has slowed the project’s progress, pushing out a previous completion date of this year until late next year.
“The project has strong partners with international experience in finance, engineering, construction, marketing and logistics which has assisted in the attraction of support from the international financial community” she said.
Roy Hill Chief Executive Officer said it was his understanding the deal represented the single largest ever in the world for a land based mining project.
Nineteen commercial banks from Australia, Japan, Europe, China, Korea and Singapore will take part in the deal, with substantial funding coming from Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Korea Eximbank, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance and Export-Import Bank of the United States.