Tietto Minerals raises $130m to accelerate development of Abujar gold project

Tietto Minerals ASX TIE Abujar gold AG placement
Tietto’s Abujar gold project is expected to deliver more than US$3.2 billion over its initial 11 year mine life.

West African gold explorer and developer Tietto Minerals (ASX: TIE) has received binding commitments for a $130 million capital raising to accelerate development of its 3.35 million ounce Abujar gold project in Côte d’Ivoire.

The company said it had received strong support from new and existing Australian and offshore institutional investors for the two-tranche share placement.

They will be issued with a total 96.9 million shares at $0.50 each in the first tranche in early April, and 163 million in the second tranche scheduled for mid-May.

The proceeds will be combined with Tietto’s existing cash balances and used for project development and exploration for resource growth, as well as working capital.

The placement replaces Tietto’s previous $187 million project development facility and has allowed Abujar to be fully-funded to first gold production.

Tietto is pivoting the project’s development to full equity funding in a flexible structure at significantly lower cost following construction cost optimisation and the elimination of contingencies as these costs become contractually locked in.

Fast-tracking development

Tietto managing director Dr Caigen Wang said the placement supports a drive to fast-track Abujar’s development towards first gold pour by year end.

“We sought to align the company with like-minded investors keen to realise first gold by December [and] we are delighted with the support we have received,” he said.

“Abujar is an exciting and robust project which is expected to deliver more than $4.2 billion in life of mine revenue and has strong potential for resource expansion.”

He said the company had spent $54 million on development to end February, with an estimated $207 million in expenditure remaining to gold production.

Construction on schedule

Earlier this month, Tietto reported that Abujar construction remains on schedule and the project remains lost-time injury free.

Bulk earthworks have been completed for the process plant and camp area and progress has been made on the mine site’s administration office, cafeteria building and the first 120 camp rooms.

Concrete has been poured for the onsite carbon-in-leach (CIL) ring beams and the semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill raft, with the SAG mill on track for delivery to site before mid-year.

Tietto hopes Abujar will become one of the largest gold mines in West Africa with forecast production of 260,000oz of gold in the first year and 1.2Moz in the first six years.

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