PANAMA The work program has been approved to fast track development of the Petaquilla large open-pit sulphide copper project 120 km west of Panama City and 20 km from the Caribbean coast. INMET MINING has a 48% interest in the property, PETAQUILLA MINERALS holds a 52% interest, and TECK COMINCO, which is acting as project operator, has the right to half of Petaquillas share or 26% of the joint venture by funding 52% of the costs.
The US$24.0-million program will advance the project through completion of a front-end engineering and design work and an updated social environment impact assessment. A significant effort will be made to advance the dialog with local communities and other stakeholders.
At the same time Teck Cominco is engaged with the engineering and environmental aspects of work at the project, Inmet and PETAQUILLA COPPER will evaluate the oxide mineralization overlying the Petaquilla, Botija and Valle Grande sulphide deposits. Inmet can earn a share of the oxide resources, but Teck Cominco will participate only in the development, mining and profit from the sulphide resources.
In January 2007, Inmet said the updated cost of developing the Petaquilla copper project would be US$1.7 billion. The mine would have an initial annual output of 200,000 t Cu and 725,000 oz Au. Additional information is available at www.InmetMining.com.