London, United Kingdom, 6 October 2021 – Nord Gold plc ("Nordgold" or the "Company"), the internationally diversified gold producer, is pleased to announce that Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) has upgraded the Company’s corporate family rating (CFR) to Ba1 from Ba2 and probability of default rating (PDR) to Ba1-PD from Ba2-PD.
Concurrently, Moody’s upgraded the senior unsecured US$ 400 million 5-year Eurobond maturing in 2024 issued by subsidiary of Nordgold Celtic Resources Holdings DAC to Ba1 from Ba2.
The outlook on both entities remains stable.
The decision to upgrade Nordgold’s rating to Ba1 reflects the Company’s track record of deleveraging, operational and geographical diversification, with nine active mines, good reserve base, which is dominated by open-pit mines, competitive operating costs, resulting in a Moody’s-adjusted EBITDA margin of above 40% on a sustained basis and history of organic growth and good corporate governance.
The upgraded ratings are also based on Moody’s expectations that Nordgold will continue to deliver a strong operating performance, which will allow it to maintain modest levels of leverage under various gold price scenarios.
This takes into account the Company’s dividend policy, which anticipates relatively high dividend distributions starting from 2022 of 50% of the Company’s pre-dividend free cash flows, adjusted by the amount of the development capital spending, provided that the Company’s reported net debt/EBITDA is below 1.5x. Nordgold intends to pay the dividend of about $400 million for 2021, of which $200 million was paid out in 2021.
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Nordgold is an internationally diversified one million ounce gold producer with about 7,800 people operating a portfolio of nine mines (in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Russia and Kazakhstan) and a number of development and exploration projects in West Africa, Eurasia and the Americas. Since its foundation in 2007, Nordgold has established a global reputation as a leading developer of tier one gold mining assets with a proven commitment to community engagement, sustainability, efficiency and operating in an environmentally responsible manner. Since 2013, Nordgold has successfully constructed three gold mines, including two in Burkina Faso (Bouly and Bissa) and most recently, the Gross mine in Russia.