Inmet Mining, through its subsidiary Minera Panama SA, has awarded a contract for engineering, procurement and construction management services for its Cobre Panama project to a joint venture led by SNC-Lavalin Group (70%), with partners GyM SA (15%) and Techint International Construction Corp. (15%), to provide basic engineering for the project. The initial phase of the contract covers basic engineering for all facilities except the power plant and is expected to require about a year to complete. The power plant is being developed under a separate agreement with GDF Suez Central America.

Following basic engineering, and subject to a final investment decision, the  joint-venture contract will be extended to proceed with full detailed engineering, procurement and construction management for all facilities except the process plant. A separate, competitive bidding process will be undertaken for the contract for the process plant.

The Cobre Panama project hosts measured and indicated mineral resources of 3.27 billion mt grading 0.36% copper and 0.06 g/mt gold. Proven and probable reserves total 2.14 billion mt grading 0.41% copper and 0.07 g/mt gold. Mineral resources are quoted at a cut-off grade of 0.15% copper. The open-pit mine is being planned to produce 289,000 mt/y of copper and 108,000 oz/y of gold over the first 16 years of a 30-year mine life (E&MJ, May 2010, p. 16).

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