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IFC Invests in Tsodilo to Support Diversification of Botswana’s Mining Industry


In Washington, D.C.:
Josef Skoldeberg
Phone:  (202) 473-6978
E-mail:  jskoldeberg@ifc.org

In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone:  +27 (0)11 731 3179
E-mail:  hbassiri@ifc.org


Washington, D.C./Gaborone, Botswana, June 24, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today agreed to invest 5 million Canadian dollars in Tsodilo Resources Limited to help advance an exploration project of diamonds and base metals that is expected to provide jobs and government revenues to Botswana once a mine is developed.

IFC’s investment will be used by Tsodilo, a Canadian-based diamond and base metals exploration company, to support the Ngamiland project in Northwest Botswana and for general corporate working capital.  IFC also will work with the company to ensure that exploration and any subsequent mine development is carried out in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.

“IFC is our partner of choice and we welcome them as a major shareholder and partner in the Ngamiland projects in Botswana,” said James M. Bruchs, Tsodilo’s CEO and Chairman.  “We look forward to drawing on IFC’s guidance and expertise to help ensure that the progress at Ngamiland follows globally recognized best practices for the mineral exploration industry, the environment, and for working with local communities.”

The mining sector dominates Botswana’s economy, with diamond mining contributing over 50 percent of the country’s tax revenues.  The government of Botswana is intensifying its efforts to diversify the economy—including promoting non diamond mining activities.  The investment will support the exploration of both diamonds and base metals, helping Botswana diversify its mining sector.  

“Tsodilo shares IFC’s commitment to responsible mining exploration and engagement with local communities,” said William Bulmer, IFC Global Head for Mining.  “This investment continues our strategy of supporting early stage exploration companies with financing and advice.”

IFC offers mining clients in developing countries a broad range of financial and advisory services throughout the mining life cycle.  Through its early equity investment program, IFC assists exploration-stage companies such as Tsodilo with financing and advice on best-practice environmental and social management.

Legal Disclosure about IFC’s Investment
IFC’s investment of 4,999,998.70 Canadian dollars in Tsodilo Resources Limited (Tsodilo) will result in IFC acquiring 2,702,702 units issued by Tsodilo at a price of 1.85 Canadian dollars.  The units comprise of an aggregate of 2,702,702 common shares and 2,702,702 warrants, each of which entitles the holder to purchase one common share of Tsodilo at an exercise price of 2.17 Canadian dollars per common share for a period of five years from the closing of the investment.

Based on the 19,710,603 common shares of Tsodilo currently outstanding, IFC will own 12.1 percent of the outstanding common shares upon completion of the transaction and, assuming the warrants are exercised in full, 21.5 percent of the outstanding common shares.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of June 2010.

IFC is acquiring the units for investment purposes as described above.  IFC may, in the future, take such action in respect of its holdings as IFC deems appropriate in light of the circumstances then existing.

To obtain a copy of the report filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities in respect of which this news release relates, please contact Josef Skoldeberg at the phone number or e-mail address referred to above.  IFC’s headquarters are located at 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20433, USA.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.