Thor Explorations CEO Segun Lawson. FILE PHOTO: African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG – The winner of the 2018 Mining Indaba "investment battlefield" competition, Thor Explorations, has received approval from the Africa Finance Corporation for a US$78 million financing package for the construction and ramp-up of its 100 percent owned Segilola gold project in Nigeria. 

Thor Explorations'  chief executive Segun Lawson pitched the project to a panel of judges at the competition on the sidelines of an annual Africa mining investment conference in Cape Town.

"This is a significant milestone for Thor and for the mining sector of Nigeria. The total finance capital requirement for the project is US$87.5 million and the AFC have put in the bulk of the required financing," Lawson said in a statement on Thursday.

"Not only have they put in debt, they have put down a $9 million pre-payment on 4.4 percent of the gold and US$15 million in equity, meaning that they are becoming both a lender and a long-term shareholder. We are very excited about having them on board."

A small company with a lean team, Thor Explorations had up to this point focused on advancing the company’s projects without doing much marketing. 

"At Mining Indaba we had investors from Australia, North America, UK and South Africa who were all there to listen to Thor’s story," said Lawson.

“For us, it was ground breaking in terms of getting out from under the radar and increasing our exposure."

Caroline Werner, investor relations manager at Mining Indaba -- convener of the world's largest mining investment conference -- said the company was proud to have played a part in Thor Explorations' ongoing success story.

"We launched the Investment Battlefield in 2017 to provide entrepreneurial exploration teams with a unique platform to promote their African story to the many international investors that attend Indaba. This was part of a wider initiative to bring junior miners back to the forefront of Mining Indaba," she said.

Thor Explorations has reached the definitive feasibility or bankability stage on the Segilola open pit reserve and a preliminary economic assessment on the Segilola underground resource. Segilola is considered the most advanced gold project in Nigeria.

Thor Explorations is a Canadian mineral exploration company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties located in Nigeria, Senegal and Burkina Faso. Besides Segilola, it has a 70 percent interest in the Douta gold project in Senegal and a 49 percent stake in the Bongui and Legue gold permits located in the Houndé greenstone belt in Burkina Faso. 

The Africa Finance Corporation is a pan-African multilateral development financial Institution established in 2007 to bridge the continent's infrastructure investment gap through the provision of debt and equity finance, project development, technical and financial advisory services.

African News Agency (ANA)