NEW CALEDONIA - Toronto-based INCO LTD., its 85%-owned subsidiary GORO NICKEL and the project development company have finalized financing with the French government for the Goro nickel/cobalt project. The money is available under terms of the Girardin Act tax-advantaged lease financing program.
Under the terms of the agreement, an initial drawdown was made at year-end 2004 for the purchase of specified equipment and other assets for the Goro project's planned process plant. Additional drawdowns are currently scheduled to be made in 2005 and 2006. This program is currently expected to involve the lease financing of a total of about US$500 million.
Inco estimates the advantages of this agreement to Goro Nickel would be worth approximately US$130 million. This estimate assumes that all of the terms and conditions of this financing are met on a timely basis and that the maximum amounts to be drawn down in 2005 and 2006 would be available based upon certain assumptions relating to this financing. The terms and conditions of this financing include a 12-year lease payment schedule commencing in 2008, and require that the project meets certain minimum production, operating and other tests over the currently projected 2005-12 period.
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