FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 31, 2004
Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has approved a $76.5 million direct loan to support the sale by Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill., and 25 other U.S. suppliers of equipment and services for the Veladero Gold Project in Argentina.
Major suppliers on the export sale include: Hoss Equipment Co., a small company located in Irving, Texas; Ingersoll-Rand Co., Annandale, N.J.; Metso Mineral Industries, Milwaukee, Wis.; and Modular Mining Systems, Tucson, Ariz.
This transaction furthers trade ties between our two countries while creating and sustaining U.S. jobs, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill.
Although closed for routine financing transactions in Argentina, Ex-Im Bank is open to consider specially structured deals that externalize the risk and provide reasonable assurance of repayment. The current transaction is structured as limited recourse project financing, a type of private financing where repayment is based on project revenues. It is Ex-Im Bank's first project financing in the mining sector since 1997.
The equipment and services will be used by the project company, Minera Argentina Gold S.A., for open-pit mining of gold ores from deposits in the high Andes of San Juan province, and the processing of these ores into dore (gold-silver) bars. The project sponsor and owner of Minera Argentina Gold S.A. is Barrick Gold Corporation of Ontario, Canada, the third largest gold company in the world.
Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 70th year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2003, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank visit //www.exim.gov.