Century Mining's recent announcement that it is effectively raising a $65m non-bank loan outside the banking system highlights, once again, the ability of miners to raise capital at a time when a number of countries are using billions (if not trillions) of dollars to bail out various economic subsectors. During the past few months, miners have raised, or are raising, a total of $45bn outside the banking systems of the world.

Century's capital raising is unusual, amounting indirectly to a gold-based debt facility, where the company would raise necessary funding from institutional private investors. Instead of a previous proposal, where Century would have repaid a loan with physical gold from production at the Lamaque mine in Quebec, Canada, the new facility does not require the commitment of any gold ounces.Century is set to borrow the $65m for a term of seven years, at an interest rate of 8% in the first year, and 6% a year in years two to seven. While the transaction no longer requires committed gold ounces, the nature of the deal struck highlights the general confidence in gold bullion, which retains its status as the world's best price-performing commodity.Over the past few months, miners have raised $14.3bn from rights issues. Recent examples include First Quantum's sale of 8.1m shares to raise the equivalent of $244m, Quadra's sale of 16.2m share to raise the equivalent of $61m, and Alcoa's sale of 150.0m shares to raise $788m.The majority of recent rights issues have been from names in the gold and primary silver arenas, but with some major exceptions such as the sale of 1960m shares by diversified miner Xstrata to raise the equivalent of $6bn. Xstrata, along with a number of other major miners, not least Alcoa, has been hampered by very high relative debt ratios. However, the world's two biggest mining stocks by value, BHP Billiton, and Vale, enjoy among the lowest debt ratios in the industry. Freeport-McMoRan, the world's biggest listed copper mining specialist, raised $750m aimed, at least in part, at lightening its debt load.The single biggest raisings to date, should completion ever be reached, will come from debt-riddled major miner Rio Tinto, which has proposed selling various equity stakes in a number of its key underlying operations for $12.3bn, and convertibles worth $7.2bn to smaller rival, Chinalco, a major aluminium producer backed by the Chinese government.On December 31, 2008 Rio Tinto's net debt was at $38.17bn; at one stage earlier this year, the group's market value fell to as low as $21bn, but has more than doubled since then as various degrees of confidence have crept back into the direction of the global resources sector. This year so far, Rio Tinto has raised more than $2bn in cash by selling various assets, including Jacobs Ranch (coal), various potash assets, and certain iron ore assets to bigger competitor Vale.Gold companies, which have been the most prolific of capital raisers, in terms of company counts, have raised straight equity, equity with warrants (a kind of potential future bonus), such as the 100m shares recently sold by Great Basin Gold, to raise the equivalent of $106m, where each sold share also carries a half warrant, and thirdly, as seen in the $517m raised by Newmont selling convertibles, a form of quasi-debt which is convertible to common shares in the company at a future date and set rate.

Corporate bonds have become as rare as proverbial hens' teeth, across all equity subsectors, but the world's biggest diversified resources stock, in the form of BHP Billiton, recently launched a $3.25bn global bond issue, as has the world's biggest gold miner, Barrick, with bonds to the value of $750m.SELECTED RECENT MINING CAPITAL RAISINGS

EQUITY ISSUES

Current

Market

New

Price

To

stock

value

shares

per

raise

price

$bn

sold (m)

share

$m

First Quantum

C$ 36.67

2.061

8.1

C$ 37.00

245.79

Quadra

C$ 5.70

0.308

16.2

C$ 4.65

61.59

Alcoa

$7.86

7.468

150.0

$5.25

787.50

Greystar

C$ 3.93

0.148

6.6

C$ 1.83

9.84

Integra Mining

A$0.21

0.065

70.0

A$0.20

9.57

Discovery Metals

A$0.18

0.021

12.7

A$0.18

1.60

Auex Ventures

C$ 2.41

0.048

6.4

Various

10.75

Gindalbie

A$0.54

0.193

190.7

A$0.85

113.59

Dorato Resources

C$ 0.57

0.018

10.0

C$ 0.50

4.09

Alamos

C$ 8.51

0.737

10.4

C$ 8.00

58.37

Patagonia Gold

₤0.09

0.054

120.0

₤ 0.08

13.58

European Nickel

₤0.07

0.046

86.0

₤ 0.05

6.28

Sundance

A$0.08

0.101

62.5

A$0.08

3.50

Paramount Gold

$0.82

0.050

12.0

C$ 0.75

7.36

Iamgold

C$ 8.59

2.795

34.3

C$ 8.75

245.38

Cameco

C$ 21.90

7.026

26.7

C$ 17.25

376.09

Simmer & Jack

₤2.70

0.319

49.3

R2.24

11.73

Pike River Coal (11)

NZ$0.80

0.128

58.6

NZ$0.70

23.30

Great Basin (1)

C$ 1.53

0.395

100.0

C$ 1.30

106.29

Lihir

A$3.19

5.277

172.0

A$3.00

361.68

Jaguar

C$ 7.42

0.473

13.9

C$ 6.20

70.54

Novagold (11)

C$ 3.25

0.482

57.7

C$ 1.30

75.00

Medusa

A$1.65

0.193

20.3

A$1.21

17.22

Westgold

A$0.24

0.028

34.2

A$0.20

4.79

Rusoro Mining

C$ 0.48

0.208

133.3

C$ 0.60

65.41

Silver Standard

$17.48

1.192

5.5

$17.00

92.65

Gold Wheaton (1)

C$ 0.23

0.253

460.0

C$ 0.25

94.02

Allied Gold

A$0.40

0.133

61.6

A$0.50

21.61

Victoria Gold

C$ 0.36

0.044

16.7

C$ 0.45

6.14

Focus Minerals

A$0.03

0.023

1250.0

A$0.02

17.52

Int'l Tower Hill

C$ 3.14

0.114

2.0

C$ 2.50

4.09

Hecla Mining

$2.07

0.450

36.8

$2.05

75.44

ECU Silver

C$ 0.48

0.095

25.0

C$ 0.70

14.31

Queenston Mining (3)

C$ 3.80

0.164

Two units

C$ 3.85

14.72

Freeport-McMoRan

$41.55

17.105

26.8

$28.00

750.40

Xstrata

₤4.64

19.853

1960.0

₤ 2.10

6011.01

Newmont

$45.36

21.705

34.5

$37.00

1276.50

Newcrest

A$32.11

10.889

27.8

A$27.00

526.12

Kinross

$19.16

13.213

20.9

$17.25

360.53

Agnico-Eagle (1)

$57.20

8.865

9.2

$31.52

289.98

Katanga Mining (2)

C$ 0.40

0.067

953.3

$0.28

265.30

Osisko (1)

C$ 5.68

1.184

88.6

C$ 4.55

329.41

Silver Wheaton

C$ 8.48

2.438

35.9

C$ 8.00

235.06

Red Back

C$ 8.10

1.516

17.2

C$ 3.50

49.08

Red Back

C$ 8.10

1.516

20.0

C$ 7.50

122.64

Harmony

$11.41

4.856

10.5

R93.20

103.92

Alamos Gold

C$ 8.51

0.737

9.4

C$ 8.00

61.48

First Uranium

C$ 6.28

0.879

20.5

C$ 3.00

50.28

Centamin Egypt

C$ 0.97

0.782

92.3

C$ 0.65

49.06

Denison

C$ 0.92

0.170

28.8

C$ 1.65

38.78

Minefinders (1)

C$ 9.65

0.466

9.2

C$ 4.35

32.72

Metorex

R1.55

0.122

370.0

R2.00

78.55

Mercator (1)

C$ 0.57

0.050

33.3

C$ 0.57

19.05

Linear Gold (1)

C$ 1.16

0.026

13.0

C$ 1.15

12.26

Dynasty Metals

C$ 5.14

0.149

2.5

C$ 4.00

8.18

Laramide

C$ 1.45

0.080

5.0

C$ 1.75

7.15

Romarco

C$ 0.42

0.069

54.0

C$ 0.38

16.78

Banro

C$ 2.29

0.117

10.0

$1.40

14.00

Anatolia

C$ 2.85

0.267

31.5

C$ 1.85

47.57

Lake Shore Gold (3)

C$ 1.30

0.226

30.6

C$ 1.55

38.80

Lake Shore Gold (3)

C$ 1.30

0.226

6.6

C$ 2.00

10.82

Colossus Minerals (1)

C$ 1.84

0.082

11.5

C$ 2.15

20.22

Platmin

C$ 0.92

0.278

184.9

C$ 0.85

128.49

Platmin

C$ 0.92

0.278

73.5

C$ 0.85

51.10

Hunan Valin

CNY 5.94

2.381

600.0

CNY 3.13

275.21

SALES OF UNDERLYING SHARES

Rio Tinto

₤22.30

47.027

Equity stakes

N/A

12300.00

Rio Tinto

₤22.30

47.027

Jacobs Ranch

N/A

761.00

Rio Tinto

₤22.30

47.027

Potash assets

N/A

850.00

Rio Tinto

₤22.30

47.027

Iron ore (Vale)

N/A

750.00

Simmer & Jack (4)

R2.70

0.319

19.6

C$ 4.60

73.71

Anglo American (5)

₤12.38

24.280

N/A

N/A

434.00

Anglo American (5)

₤12.38

24.280

N/A

N/A

1280.00

Teck (6)

$5.99

2.860

N/A

N/A

110.00

Eldorado (7)

$9.03

3.341

N/A

N/A

70.00

NON-BANK DEBT

Barrick

$33.01

28.809

Bonds

750.00

BHP Billiton

₤14.17

123.965

Bonds

Various

3250.00

Alcoa

$7.86

7.468

Convertibles

5.25%

500.00

Rio Tinto

₤22.30

47.027

Convertibles

N/A

7200.00

Newmont

$45.36

21.705

Convertibles

N/A

517.50

De Beers (8)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

500.00

European Nickel

₤0.07

0.046

Offtake

N/A

350.00

Hunan Valin

CNY 5.94

2.381

Bonds

N/A

439.17

EMED Mining

₤0.05

0.016

Convertible

N/A

8.50

Century Mining

C$ 0.14

0.019

Non-bank loan

65.00

DIRECT PLACEMENTS

Perilya (9)

A$5.48

0.040

197.7

A$0.38

52.69

Fortescue (10)

A$2.27

4.497

225.0

A$2.48

391.12

Fortescue (10)

A$2.27

4.497

35.0

A$2.48

60.84

Uranium One

C$ 2.92

1.121

117.0

C$ 2.31

220.75

OTHER

First Uranium

C$ 6.28

0.879

Royalty-type

N/A

75.00

First Uranium

C$ 6.28

0.879

Royalty-type

N/A

50.00

PGM (12)

C$ 1.62

0.090

Option

N/A

10.00

PGM

C$ 1.62

0.090

Part option

N/A

10.00

African Copper

₤0.02

0.005

Private loan

N/A

1.50

Wega Mining

NOK 1.25

0.063

Firesale

N/A

Almaden Minerals

$0.80

0.036

Option

N/A

8.00

TOTAL

45400.58

NOTE: not all raisings shown are closed/finalised.

(1) Sold units of one share and half a warrant.

(2) This deal is incomplete and conditional.

(3) Two issue prices apply.

(4) Sold shares it owned in First Uranium.

(5) Sold shares it owned in AngloGold Ashanti

(6) Various gold asset sales

(7) Sale of São Bento to AngloGold Ashanti

(8) Loans from shareholders for 2009

(9) Shares sold to Shenzhen Zhongjin

(10) Shares sold to Hunan Valin

(11) One share and one warrant

(12) $10m five year option for 30% of War Springs.

Source: Market & company information, compiled by Barry Sergeant