Romarco secures gold mine funding

Romarco Minerals Inc., parent company of Haile Gold Mine, has secured $200 million in financing to break ground on construction projects at the site as early as next month, company officials said.

In a release issued Friday, April 10, Romarco announced a credit agreement for the loan had been signed with Caterpillar Financial Services Corp., ING Capital LLC, Macquarie Bank Limited and SociétéGénérale Corporate & Investment Banking.

“We appreciate the support and confidence of each of the four lenders and are looking forward to breaking ground and initiating full construction in May 2015, with construction scheduled for 18 months,” said Diane Garrett, president/CEO of Romarco.

Romarco is ramping up activities at the mine site to prepare for the construction.

These activities include delivery of Caterpillar equipment, delivery of water treatment plant components, completion of wells and office set-up  to name a few.

Romarco announced Jan. 8 an agreement had been reached among the gold mine, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Sierra Club which resolved all claims raised by the Sierra Club in November 2014.

The Sierra Club had challenged a mining permit based on the argument that $60 million set aside by Romarco wasn’t enough for environmental cleanup over the course of the mining project.

In its permit challenge, the Sierra Club claimed cleanup could cost up to $100 million but Romarco officials contended the $60 million set aside was more than enough for an environmental cleanup at the site.

The January agreement eliminated the last obstacle to the DHEC mine operating permit.

Under that agreement, the total financial assurance for reclamation provided for in the permit increased from $60 million to $65 million over the life of the mine.

The Sierra Club agreed to bring no suit or claim against the Haile project as permitted.

The Sierra Club’s initial request for the mining operations’ appeal came after the S.C. Department of Commerce announced Nov. 6 that Haile Gold Mine, Inc. was investing $353 million to develop the mine and create 270 new jobs.

Kershaw Mayor Wayne Rhodes said about 3,000 people had applied for construction jobs at Haile Gold Mine.

Romarco plans to spend about $1.1 billion during the development of the project and believes it can mine up to 4.8 million ounces of gold at the site.

The project will take place over the next 15 years with jobs being given to at least 150 to 420 employees.

By Denyse Clark, Staff Reporter with The Lancaster News