Hummingbird Seeks $200 Million to Build Liberia Gold Mine

Hummingbird Resources Plc (HUM), owner of gold exploration licenses in Liberia, is seeking about $200 million to build a mine to start production in 2015.

The company, which is due to complete feasibility studies in the third quarter next year, is looking at financing options including taking a Middle Eastern or Chinese partner, raising debt or issuing equity, Managing Director Daniel Betts said in an interview in London.

Hummingbird last year raised its total gold resources to 3.7 million ounces after announcing it has an additional 2.05 million ounces at the Tuzon pit in eastern Liberia. Betts, whose family business in Birmingham, England, has been refining gold for 250 years, aims to have annual production of 200,000 ounces of gold with a mine life of about 15 years.

“We proved robust resources and a profitable project, and this market has to be at the bottom,” Betts said. “I’m actually quite upbeat about the prospect of funding it in this market; while everyone else is sitting on their hands doing nothing, we are motoring ahead doing our feasibility study.”

Gold traded at $1,214.60 an ounce today, near the lowest price since July 8 on speculation that the Federal Reserve will start slowing the pace of monetary stimulus on signs of an improving U.S. economy. Bullion lost 27 percent this year through yesterday as some investors lost faith in the precious metal as a store of value amid an equity rally and low inflation.

“This project is doable,” Betts said. “We have to commit to the plant size in the next two months and start talking to debt providers in a serious way; we need to arrange the finance next year and we’ll pour in gold in 2015.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Firat Kayakiran in London at fkayakiran@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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