Black Cat Syndicate has announced a revised $29.51m (A$45m) funding package to restart the Paulsens Gold Operation in Western Australia (WA), with a new deal from Chinese investors.

The new package, which replaces the previously announced A$60m arrangement, is contingent upon shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Sundy Service Group will contribute A$45m, with $9m already provided and an additional $6m expected by May 2024. Upon completion of the transaction, Sundy is set to become a shareholder in Black Cat Syndicate, holding a 40% interest.

Late in 2023, Black Cat announced a A$60m funding package to restart Paulsens project.

However, in February 2024, this was varied to include equity placements, a secured debt facility and unsecured convertible notes.

The equity placements, totalling A$36m, were to be shared equally between Mingjin and Southeast Mingqing Supply Chain (Fuyang) (Southeast Mingqing), with shares escrowed until March 2027.

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Additionally, a $15m secured debt facility was to be provided by Mingjin, and a $9m unsecured convertible note facility was arranged with Sundy. The receipt of funds from the convertible notes has already commenced, aiding in the refurbishment of the processing facility.

Key conditions for the latest funding include obtaining Chinese regulatory approvals for overseas investment and Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

These approvals must be secured by 31 May 2024.

To expedite the process, Black Cat has taken several steps including terminating the equity placements with Mingjin and Southeast Mingqing.

The terminated equity placements will be replaced by an increased $6m contribution to the Sundy convertible note facility and the issuance of approximately 133.3 million ordinary shares to Sundy for $30m.

These shares will be escrowed until September 2027, subject to the necessary approvals, which are expected to be obtained before 15 August 2024.

Furthermore, Black Cat is engaging with local debt providers to replace the terminated $15m secured debt facility.

Black Cat managing director Gareth Solly said: “This new funding package, substantially on the same terms as our previous funding package, facilitates the restart of Paulsens in a high gold price environment.

“The convertible note funds are already being applied to ordering long lead time items and the processing facility refurbishment. Regular updates will continue to be provided on our progress.”

The Paulsens mine, which was commissioned in 2005, was placed in care and maintenance in 2017. It was acquired by Black Cat in 2022.