The Export-Import Bank of the United States has authorized a $694.4 million loan to Roy Hill Holdings of Australia contingent upon the purchase of U.S. mining and rail equipment from Caterpillar Inc., GE and Atlas Copco.

The bank said the loan increases the likelihood that Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Illinois, will provide surface-mining equipment for the project; and that GE will furnish locomotives to transport the iron ore to the port.

The exported equipment will contribute to the development of the Roy Hill iron ore mine, an open-pit operation in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The mine is located approximately 280 km south of Port Hedland.

The bank also said it had performed a detailed economic-impact analysis and found that the transaction will likely have a significant net positive effect on the U.S. economy. Additionally, the bank obtained a market-based supplemental analysis prepared by a third party that also yielded a positive finding.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that participates in private export financing, providing a variety of financing mechanisms including working-capital guarantees, export-credit insurance, and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

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