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A&O advises lender group on largest greenfield mining project financing in Guinea

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Ingram-Johnson Ian
Ian Ingram-Johnson

Partner

Dubai

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Scales Tim
Tim Scales

Partner

London

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Meredith Campion

Partner

Perth

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Townsend Matthew
Matthew Townsend

Partner

London

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Rivlin Ken
Ken Rivlin

Partner

New York

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Rezendes Maura
Maura Rezendes

Partner

Washington, D.C.

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28 May 2019

Allen & Overy has advised the consortium of lenders on a USD750 million financing of a greenfield bauxite mine in Guinea, together with associated rail and port infrastructure, currently under development by Guinea Alumina Corporation S.A. (GAC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC (EGA).

A number of multilateral institutions, comprised of DFIs and commercial banks (the International Finance Corporation, the African Development Bank, Export Development Canada, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, DEG, Société Générale, ING Bank, BNP Paribas, Natixis, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates NDB and Mashreq Bank), participated in the financing, with the commercial banks partly funding under an IFC B loan and partly under a direct loan covered by the World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

The approximately USD1.4 billion project involves the development, construction, financing and operation of a greenfield bauxite mine, together with associated rail, port and marine infrastructure in the Boké Province in north western Guinea. Upon completion, the mine will produce 12 million tonnes per annum, with an expected mine life of 20 years.

The project is expected to create up to 1000 direct jobs and 4000 temporary jobs during construction, and as many as 9800 through the project’s supply chain.  Year on year, the project will generate an average of USD50 million in revenues for the Government of Guinea.

Commenting on the transaction, partner Tim Scales noted that, "We are delighted to have played a part in bringing this ambitious and complex project financing to a successful close.  We were able to draw on expertise covering financing, mining, infrastructure, construction, shipping, environment and social, regulatory, insurance and other specialist areas from across the A&O network – testament to our comprehensive offering for projects of this nature."

Tim Scales led the Allen & Overy team from London, with assistance from partner Ian Ingram-Johnson in Dubai, Meredith Campion in Perth, Ken Rivlin in New York, Maura Rezendes in Washington DC, and Matthew Townsend in London.  Associates from seven Allen & Overy offices across six countries advised on the financing, with Ian Ingram-Johnson commenting that "the project again demonstrates Allen & Overy's seamless integration across offices and time zones and ability to steer document-heavy, complex transactions to financial close."

The parties used Legatics, a product developed in collaboration with Allen & Overy's tech innovation space, Fuse, to manage the CP satisfaction process across 12 lenders and over 500 individual deliverables.

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