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AUS$140 million loan approved for Lake Wells SOP project

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World Fertilizer,

Australian Potash has announced that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has made an Investment Decision to provide a debt financing facility of AUS$140 million to assist the development of the Lake Wells SOP Project.

The NAIF facility is the first major step in the financing pathway for the development of Lake Wells and is one tranche of a multi-tranche debt facility.

Export Finance Australia is in the process of progressing their due diligence and credit assessment to potentially provide a tranche of the senior debt facility.

A club structure of commercial banks is being formalised with an investment decision on providing the final tranche of the senior debt facility expected through the balance of H2 FY21.

Australian Potash Managing Director and CEO, Matt Shackleton, said: “We are very pleased to advise the first major step in financing the development of Lake Wells, with the board of NAIF resolving to support this regionally important project that returns strong social and economic benefits.

“Approximately 30% by value of the construction EPC contracts will be awarded to companies in Northern Australia, and 20% by value to Indigenous companies and joint ventures.

“We continue to enjoy strong relationships with stakeholders in the local community of Laverton, most importantly with senior traditional owners.

“Through our initiatives including the Laverton STEM Program, the Laverton VTEC Program, and our local and indigenous employment commitments we are able to tangibly demonstrate our commitment to improving economic and social values in the region.

“Financially, the NAIF facility offers a long tenor of 17 years, and an interest rate that improves the opportunity for attractive returns to equity invested in the Project.

“We now turn our attention to closing out the balance of the development financing pathway, and to moving into the pre-mobilisation phase for the development of the Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash Project.

“Lake Wells is a substantially de-risked, technically sound, low cost and socially responsible project that will deliver a premium product for at least thirty years.

“We now look forward to delivering the results of the FEED study and announcing a FID.”

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