Last year’s winner of Mining Indaba’s Investment Battlefield, Thor Explorations has received approval from the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) for a US$78 million financing package for the construction and ramp-up of its 100% owned Segilola Gold Project in Nigeria. This is the project CEO Segun Lawson pitched to a panel of judges at the 2018 Investment Battlefield.
Thor announced in early October, that it has received conditional approval from the TSX Venture Exchange for the first tranche of the proposed US$15 million private placement with AFC.
“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. Not only have they put in debt, they have put down a $9 million pre-payment on 4.4% 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,” says Segun Lawson, President and CEO of Thor Explorations.
For Thor, winning the Investment Battlefield was a big step in the company’s progression to reach this point: “For a lot of people, it was the first time they heard the Thor story. We were a small company with a lean team, and up to this point, we had focused on advancing the company’s projects and hadn’t done a huge amount of 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. In addition, the Q&A sessions at the end of each presentation set me up to be on top of the project for future investor engagements.”
“For us, it was ground breaking in terms of getting out from under the radar and increasing our exposure,” says Segun. This point goes to the heart of Mining Indaba’s purpose – to facilitate connections and be Africa’s premier deal-making platform.
Caroline Werner, Investor Relations Manager at Mining Indaba commented: “We’re extremely proud to have played a small part in Thor Explorations ongoing success story and naturally we’re very pleased for Segun and the team. 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”. Kael O’Sullivan, Director of Investor Relations at Mining Indaba added: “For us, the success of the Battlefield means connecting new and exciting opportunities, like the Segilola Gold Project, with capital in an innovative way. Thor Explorations might be the first success story from the Investment Battlefield project but we’re sure it won’t be the last!”
The Segilola Gold Project is considered the most advanced gold project in Nigeria. Thor has reached definitive feasibility or bankability stage on the Segilola Open Pit Reserve and a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on the Segilola Underground Resource, achievements they announced at the 2019 Mining Indaba.
Mining Indaba will be holding the 4th Investment Battlefield competition at its 2020 event. For more information see: https://www.miningindaba.com/ehome/283869/Investment-Battlefield/
Please see the accompanying interview with Segun Lawson for more information about their participation in Mining Indaba and what the future holds for the company after receiving funding from the AFC.