The board of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an independent federal lending agency, gave preliminary approval for $694 million in financing for billionaire Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore project in Australia.
The vote by the lender’s board today will support the purchase of mining equipment from U.S. companies including Caterpillar Inc. and General Electric Co. (GE), Daniel Reilly, a bank spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.
Rinehart, Asia’s richest woman, is seeking A$7 billion ($6.5 billion) of debt from banks and export credit agencies to help build the A$10 billion iron-ore mining venture in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, comprising a mine, rail and port operations. Roy Hill expects to conclude financing talks for the debt package by the end of the year.
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