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Thursday, May 23 2019 @ 11:30 PM UTC

S Korea's Eximbank in JV to develop Panama copper mine

Gold & MiningSEOUL (Asia In Focus via COMTEX) -- The EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF KOREA (Eximbank) said Wednesday it has reached a preliminary deal with Canada's resources developer INMET MINING CORP. and others to jointly develop a copper mine in Panama. Eximbank said it has clinched the deal with the Canadian firm, a consortium of the state-run KOREA RESOURCES CORP. and LS-NIKKO COPPER INC., and Korea's state-run export insurance agency KOREA EXPORT INSURANCE CORP (KEIC). The agreement calls for the state-run lender to provide financial support with the KEIC and promote cooperation between financial institutions and resource developers for the "Cobre Panama" copper mine development project. Inmet holds a 100 per cent stake in the copper mine and the consortium has an option to purchase a 20 per cent stake in the mine, it added.

Editor's Comment: Ah, so that's it. Please go back, read that article again, and look for the words "state run." The Eximbank is basically like the National Bank of South Korea, basically an arm or offshoot of the Government of the Republic of Korea. The same thing goes for the Korea Resources Corp. and the Korea Export Insurance Corp. The President of Korea came to Panama because the government of Korea is going to be up to their eyeballs in this copper mine project, not just privately owned Korean companies. The business environment is much different in Asia - it's very common for there to be a tight connection between big (huge) companies and the governments of the countries where they are based. It's a cultural difference more than anything else. In the US and Western societies there's a tendency to frown upon such close joint ventures. Well, except in cases when the government steps in to keep a company from failing. Anyway, as expected Inmet's copper deal is a go. This is a massive good news story for Panama, strategically speaking. The environmentalists won't like it very much, but that's to be expected.

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