Orezone Resources Inc.
TSX : OZN
AMEX : OZN

Orezone Resources Inc.

July 10, 2008 08:16 ET

Orezone Essakane Debt Facility Proceeds to Credit Approval

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 10, 2008) - Orezone Resources Inc. (TSX:OZN)(AMEX:OZN) is pleased to announce that Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG, a member of UniCredit Group, ("HVB") and The Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd ("Standard Bank") have completed their technical due diligence and are proceeding to their respective credit committees for approval on providing a minimum of US$250million of project debt for Orezone's Essakane gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa. It is anticipated that this process will take approximately three to five weeks.

The project loan will be comprised of a commercial tranche and an Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa ("ECIC") tranche, both arranged and fully underwritten by HVB and Standard Bank respectively. Both tranches rank pari-passu. A cost over-run facility is also under consideration with debt providers subordinate to the above mandated lead arrangers.

This announcement does not constitute a firm commitment by the underwriters to provide the project debt. Future events and the actual financing, if any, may differ materially from the terms described above.

HVB is one of Europe's largest financial institutions. For 20 years HVB, as part of the UniCredit Group, has been an active mining finance house catering to the needs of its diverse and broad client base. With highly experienced industry specialists and regional coverage the Group is well positioned to provide solutions for its mining customers.

Standard Bank is a financial services company with a global presence. It operates from 18 countries in Africa and 20 on other continents, including the key financial centers of Europe, the Americas and Asia. Standard Bank is the largest bank in Africa by market capitalization and was awarded the title of Leading Project Finance Bank in Africa by Euromoney in 2007.

Auramet Trading, LLC ("Auramet") of Fort Lee, New Jersey has been acting as Advisor on the transaction.

Orezone is an explorer and emerging gold producer whose main asset is the Essakane Project, the largest gold deposit in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Essakane contains 4.0Moz of indicated resources and 1.3Moz of inferred resources at a 0.5g/t cut-off. Recoverable reserves contained within a US$600 gold price mine plan are 3.0Moz. The deposit remains essentially open and untested below 260m from surface and is surrounded by several satellites deposits. The government of Burkina Faso has a 10% non-participating interest and a 3% net smelter royalty in the project. Orezone has a pipeline of developing projects, all located in politically stable areas of West Africa, one of the world's fastest growing gold producing regions. Orezone's mission is to create wealth by discovering and developing the earth's resources in an efficient and responsible manner.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION: This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Except for statements of historical fact relating to the company, certain information contained herein constitutes such forward-looking statements and forward-looking information... Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are frequently characterized by words such as "plan," "expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate", "estimate" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur.

Forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions and the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. The assumptions include including that contracted parties provide goods and/or services on the agreed timeframes, that equipment necessary for construction and development is available as scheduled and does not incur unforeseen breakdowns, that no labour shortages or delays are incurred, that plant and equipment functions are as specified, that no unusual geological or technical problems occur, sufficient financing is available and in place and that on-going contractual negotiations will be completely successful and progressed and/or completed in a timely manner. Factors that could cause the forward-looking statements and forward-looking information to differ materially in actuality include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, fluctuating metal prices, failure of contracted parties to perform as contracted, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future and other factors. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Readers are advised that National Instrument 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators requires that each category of mineral reserves and mineral resources be reported separately. Readers should refer to the annual information form of Orezone for the year ended December 31, 2007, and other continuous disclosure documents filed by Orezone since January 1, 2008 available at www.sedar.com, for this detailed information, which is subject to the qualifications and notes set forth therein.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources: This press release uses the terms "Measured", "Indicated" and "Inferred" Resources. United States investors are advised that while such terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize them. "Inferred Mineral Resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources may not form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies. United States investors are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources will ever be converted into Mineral Reserves. United States investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.

Contact Information

  • Orezone Resources Inc.
    Ron Little, CEO
    613-241-3699
    Toll Free: 888-673-0663
    rlittle@orezone.com
    or
    Orezone Resources Inc.
    Janet Eastman, Manager IR
    613-241-3699
    Toll Free: 888-673-0663
    jeastman@orezone.com