Roy Hill Iron Ore Project of Australia’s Gina Rinehart Secures US$7.2B Funding

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | March 21, 2014 3:06 PM EST

Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart has secured a $7.2 billion debt deal for the Roy Hill iron ore mine project in West Australia's Pilbara region.

REUTERS/David Gray/Files
A train hauling carriages filled with iron ore is seen on the outskirts of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia in this December 3, 2013 file photo. If Australian miners are worried about the dramatic decline in iron ore prices, it doesn't show. At an annual gathering of many of the world's biggest and smallest iron ore producers here the mood is upbeat - as if the heftiest one-day fall in ore prices since the global financial crisis never happened. REUTERS/David Gray/Files

Signed in Singapore, the deal involved 19 commercial banks, including Australia, Japan, Korea, China, Europe and Singapore, as well as five Export Credit Agencies from Japan, South Korea and the United States pledging $US7.2 billion to build a 55-million tonne a year port, a 344km railway and the mine project.

"The project has strong partners with international experience in finance, engineering, construction, marketing and logistics, which has assisted in the attraction of support from the international finance community," Ms Rinehart said in a statement.

The project aims to ship its first ore in 2015.

Barry Fitzgerald, Roy Hill chief executive, said the funding deal is the world's largest debt financing ever issued and released for a mining project.

"The structure and quality of the project has allowed us to secure an internationally competitive cost-effective funding structure which can endure market fluctuations," Mr Fitzgerald said.

Korea's POSCO, Japan's Marubeni, Taiwanese steel maker China Steel Corp as well as Ms Rinehart have already injected over $3 billion for the construction of the iron ore mine.

Already 30 per cent built, the $10 billion project included two deepwater berths at port and an airport with a runway that can accommodate a Boeing 737 plane. It also has accommodations to house 3,600 construction workers and 2,000 operational staff on site and at Port Hedland.

Ms Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting owns 70 per cent of the Roy Hill iron ore mine project.

There are 2,500 people currently employed working on the construction of the mine.

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(Photo: REUTERS/David Gray/Files / )
A train hauling carriages filled with iron ore is seen on the outskirts of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia in this December 3, 2013 file photo. If Australian miners are worried about the dramatic decline in iron ore prices, it doesn't show. At an annual gathering of many of the world's biggest and smallest iron ore producers here the mood is upbeat - as if the heftiest one-day fall in ore prices since the global financial crisis never happened. REUTERS/David Gray/Files
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