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Thursday, August 21 2014 @ 11:56 PM EDT

Inmet Mining closes $1.5 billion debt financing to fund Cobre Panama

Gold & MiningBy: The Canadian Press - TORONTO - Inmet Mining Corp. says it has closed a US$1.5-billion debt offering to help fund development at the copper-gold Cobre Panama project. With the closure of the deal, the Inmet board has granted approval to start construction on the project. Questions were raised early in 2011 about the future of the Cobre Panama project, when the Toronto miner Lundin Mining Corp. walked away from its planned merger with Inmet. The project has since received government approval for an environmental and social impact assessment required for the building of a mine, port facility and coal-fired power plant. However, environmental groups continue to oppose the project, contending it will destroy 5,700 hectares of forest and affect local wildlife, including a large number of protected animal species.

In January, Korea Panama Mining Corp. decided to exercise its option to take a 20 per cent interest in Cobre Panama copper mine, leaving Inmet with an 80 per cent stake in the development-stage project. It will fund 20 per cent of development costs. Shares in Inmet fell 73 cents or 1.6 per cent to 44.28 in Friday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Editor's Comment: The partners in this project will spend more than $6 billion dollars to build this new copper mine - making it a bigger project than the expansion of the Panama Canal. This is a massively important project for the economy of Panama. It will be pumping new money into the economy in a multitude of ways - new infrastructure, jobs, services, logistics, supplies - you name it. The total landmass of Panama is 7,434,000 hectares, so dropping 5,700 hectares of trees to get at billions upon billions of dollars worth of copper means this project covers 0.07% of the land - not even one tenth of one percent. Meanwhile just Gatun Lake covers 42,500 hectares - and every inch of that land was virgin jungle and rain forest before it was flooded to create the Panama Canal. So - if the environmentalists of the world had their way back at the start of the 20th century, the Panama Canal most likely never would have been built. I'm in favor of the Inmet copper project on the math an economics. And besides, they will have to plant two hectares of reforested land for every one hectare they cut down - a fact omitted from this article. Much of the reporting on the Inmet copper project in Panama is very biased against the project, because many reporters are also raging environmentalists and tree-huggers. I'm also a tree-hugger, as long as the trees I'm hugging are on a teak plantation in Panama...

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