African Underground Mining Services (AUMS), a joint venture of Barminco and Ausdrill, was expanding its business in West Africa and needed finance for new contracts at Red Back Mining Inc’s Chirano and Newmont’s Ahafo gold mines in Ghana, and at Randgold Resources’ Gara gold mine in Mali.
With commercial credit for transactions in emerging markets being constrained after the global financial crisis, AUMS approached us for finance for equipment and working capital for its operations.
We worked with Caterpillar Financial Australia to give AUMS a four-year US$30 million loan facility, of which we contributed US$15 million.
This allowed AUMS to source locally-manufactured mining equipment from Tasmania, despite strong competition from overseas, and undertake these mining contracts in West Africa.
Along with supporting local manufacturing jobs, this funding also allowed AUMS to expand in an important commodity-rich region of the world where commercial lenders can be risk averse.