The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a US$75 million loan for the development of Centerra Gold Inc’s Öksüt open-pit gold mine in the central Turkish region of Kayseri. It is part of an existing US$150 million project financing facility with UniCredit.
The US$220 million greenfield project is being developed by Öksüt Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (OMAS), a wholly-owned Turkish subsidiary of the international gold mining company Centerra Gold Inc.
This joint financing provided by the EBRD and UniCredit will be used for the construction, development and operation of the mine to the highest international standards.
Riccardo Puliti, Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources at the EBRD, said: “We are pleased to support the entrance in the Turkish market of an experienced operator like Centerra. The overall aim of this operation is to create sustainable development in the mining sector while enhancing social inclusion and transparency.”
Centerra, a supporter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), is committed to operating in line with Publish What You Pay principles which require extractive industry companies to disclose what they pay to governments to extract natural resources.
With the EBRD’s help, Centerra will also explore ways to offer greater opportunities to female employees and women-led suppliers in Turkey. The mine is expected to create approximately 250 local jobs in addition to contractors.
Scott Perry, Chief Executive Officer of Centerra Gold Inc. added: “We are pleased to have in addition to UniCredit, the EBRD as a strategic partner and have them enter the Öksüt financing facility. Centerra has a long standing relationship with the EBRD dating back to the company’s initial public offering with the EBRD providing support and financing. We value our ongoing relationship and are grateful for the Bank’s commitment and support to help finance development in the regions where we both operate.”
Turkey is the largest gold producer in Europe and in the Mediterranean. With its gold consumption per capita one of the highest in the world, it is also among the top five largest gold importers globally.
The EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep. Ninety-eight per cent of the Bank’s investments in the country are in the private sector.
To date, the EBRD has invested over €7 billion in Turkey through more than 180 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised about €17 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.
The EBRD’s strategic priorities for the period 2016-18 for its countries of operations are: re-energising growth, strengthening regional integration and addressing global challenges.