Corrs Chambers Westgarth has advised Aspire Mining Limited on a series of agreements with Noble Group to assist with the development of Aspire’s Ovoot coking coal project in Mongolia.

Aspire Mining, an ASX listed exploration and development company focused on the development of its Ovoot coking coal project in Mongolia, is a long standing client of Corrs.

Noble Group is a multinational company that manages the global supply chain of agricultural and energy products, metals and minerals, to provide funding, logistics and marketing.

Under the arrangements agreed with Noble, Noble will contribute to the pre-development costs associated with Aspire’s proposed new railway linking the Ovoot coal mine to the Trans-Mongolian railway which is being progressed through Aspire subsidiary Northern Railways LLC. In return, Noble will have an option to acquire 10% of Northern Railways should it be successful in being awarded a rail concession from the Mongolian Government to construct the proposed new railway. Noble has also agreed to make debt funding available to Northern Railways to assist with these pre-development works.

The Corrs team advising on the transaction was led by partner Russell Philip, who was supported by banking & finance partner Jeremy King and associate James Nicholls.

Corrs lead partner Russell Philip said, “We are delighted to have worked with Aspire to get this significant transaction across the line in a compressed timeframe over the Christmas holiday period. The Noble transaction provides significant additional support to our client as it progresses the rail and port solutions for its Ovoot Mine in Mongolia. The Corrs team worked closely with our client on this complex deal, involving a mix of equity and debt funding for Aspire and Northern Railways, as well as providing a framework for developing the supply chain logistics arrangements for delivering Ovoot coal to market through Mongolia, China and Russia.”

The arrangements agreed with Noble also extend the scope of the existing strategic alliance agreement in place between Aspire and Noble Group, including extending Noble’s rights to provide marketing and the supply of supply chain logistics services to the Ovoot Project.

As part of the arrangements, Noble will subscribe for shares in Aspire, taking its shareholding to 14.9% of Aspire, and will have a representative appointed to the Aspire Board. The agreements are conditional on Aspire shareholder approval and no material adverse change.

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