THE International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has agreed to invest 6.2 million Canadian dollars in Helio Resources Corporation to support a gold exploration project that is expected to provide jobs and government revenues to Tanzania once the mine is developed.
IFC’s investment will be used by Helio, a Canadian-based mining company focused on gold exploration, for the advancement of Saza Makongolosi Gold (SMG) project in southwest Tanzania and for general corporate working capital.
Also, IFC works with the company to ensure that exploration and any subsequent mine development is carried out in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.
“Helio is very pleased to welcome IFC as a major shareholder and partner on the Saza Makongolosi Gold project in Tanzania,” said Richard Williams, Helio’s CEO and Director. “We look forward to working with IFC to ensure that the progress at SMP follows globally recognized best practices for the mineral exploration industry, the environment, and for working with local communities.”
During the past 10 years, Tanzania’s mining industry has experienced a boom in both mineral exploration and mining activities, making the mining industry the second fastest-growing sector in the country after tourism.
The investment is part of IFC’s strategy to help enhance development of Tanzania’s mining industry.
“Helio shares IFC’s commitment to responsible mining exploration and engagement with local communities,” said William Bulmer, IFC Global Head for mining. “This project has the potential to set new environmental and social standards for mining in Tanzania, increase employment opportunities in the project area, and provide government revenues.”
IFC and Helio will evaluate the mining company’s potential participation in an IFC linkages programme in Tanzania that seeks to integrate local suppliers more fully into mining operations in the region.
The investment in Helio will result in IFC acquiring 11,500,000 units issued by Helio, according to a statement issued by the World Bank following announcement of the investment.
The units comprise an aggregate of 11,500,000 common shares and 5,570,000 warrants, each of the warrants entitling the holder to purchase one common share of Helio at an exercise price of 0.81 Canadian dollars per common share for a period of three years from the closing date. The issue price per unit is $0.54 Canadian dollars.
As a result of this financing, the company will have 77,830,599 shares issued and outstanding. IFC is the sole placee in this financing and, as a result, will own upon the closing thereof 11,500,000 common shares (representing 14.8 per cent of the issued and outstanding share capital of the company and up to 20.6 per cent on a partially diluted basis, assuming the exercise of all of IFC’s warrants granted under the financing).
The transaction is expected to close by the end of January 2010.
IFC is expected to enter into an undertaking with the TSX Venture Exchange which would restrict its ability to exercise the warrants if doing so would result in IFC owning or controlling 20 per cent or more of the outstanding voting securities of Helio immediately after giving effect to such exercise.
This undertaking will terminate immediately after Helio issues any additional voting securities which would result in IFC owning or controlling on a partially diluted basis less than 20 per cent of the total outstanding voting securities of Helio at that time.
As a member of the World Bank Group, IFC creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. It fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilising private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments.
IFC’s new investments totalled $14.5bn in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis.