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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised BNP Paribas, Citibank N.A. and Westpac Banking Corporation on the A$400m acquisition financing to enable Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (Saracen) to acquire 50% of the Super Pit from Barrick Gold Corporation.

The Super Pit is Australia’s second largest open cut gold mine and located in Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, and will compliment Saracen’s existing Thunderbox and Carosue Dam projects in the Kalgoorlie region.

BNP Paribas, Citibank N.A. and Westpac Banking Corporation are mandated lead arrangers, underwriters and bookrunners for the new term loan facility. Saracen’s existing debt facilities were also refreshed as part of the financing.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by partner Andrew McLean with assistance from senior associate Owen Alcorn and solicitors Dave Thomas and Kai Low.

Barrick Gold Corporation was also advised by a team from Herbert Smith Freehills Corporate Practice, led by partners Clayton James and Tony Damian.

Mr McLean said, “We are proud to have worked on the acquisition of such an iconic WA mining asset and to be part of Saracen’s continuing growth story. It was a real pleasure to work closely with the teams at BNP Paribas, Citibank N.A. and Westpac Banking Corporation to achieve financial close in such a short timeframe.”

DLA Piper and Wright Legal advised Saracen on the acquisition and financing respectively.

This deal is another example of Herbert Smith Freehills’ market-leading work in the gold sector. Other recent examples include: advising West African Resources on its project financing of the Sanbrando gold mine in Burkina Faso and advising the syndicate of banks of the provision of debt financing facilities to Gold Road Resources Limited.