Armenian Copper To Invest Up To $250 Mln In Copper-Molybdenum Deposi

ARMENIAN COPPER TO INVEST UP TO $250 MLN IN COPPER-MOLYBDENUM DEPOSIT

Russia & CIS Business and Financial Newswire
November 5, 2007 Monday 11:58 AM MSK

The Armenian government has approved Armenian Copper Programme’s
(ACP) plan to develop the Tekhut copper- molybdenum deposit, Trade
and Economic Development Minister Nerses Yeritsian said at a briefing
Thursday.

The cost of the program will be $200 million-$250 million and the
life of the project will be 30-40 years.

ACP received a 25-year license to the deposit in 2001. The business
plan to develop the deposit was prepared based on the results of
exploration work done by Canada’s Strathcona Mineral Services Ltd.

Preliminary estimates put ore reserves at 450 million tonnes,
containing 1.6 million tonnes of copper and 99,000 tonnes of
molybdenum.

The company plans to annually mine 25,000-30,000 tonnes of copper
and 800 tonnes of molybdenum, which will account for 40-50% of the
country’s copper production and up to 20% of its molybdenum output.

ACP plans to export up to $270 million worth of copper concentrate
annually at current prices for the metal, Yeritsian said. Within
four years the company plans to build a concentration plant near the
deposit, along with the necessary infrastructure and buffer zone.

The minister also said there were environmental risks involved
in clearing of forests for open-cast mining of the deposit, so an
environmental management plan has been developed.

It was reported earlier that ACP might borrow $200 million from VTB
(RTS: VTBR), Russia’s second biggest bank. Company president Valery
Medzhlumian said "a political agreement has been reached with the
VTB group."

ACP said earlier that the loan would enable it to set up mining at
the Tekhut deposit and process 7 million tonnes of ore per year.

Tekhut, in northern Armenia, is the country’s second largest copper
and molybdenum deposit after Kadzharan.

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