Caserones Cu Project Secures US$ 1.4 Funds

Pan Pacific Copper, which is Japanese largest copper smelter of JX Nippon Mining & Metals and Mitsui Mining & Smelting, and Mitsui & Co. announced on Tuesday their joint venture, Minera Lumina Copper Chile agreed to get total US$ 1.4 billion of fund from Japan Bank for International Cooperation and financial institutes. With the fund, the copper developer invests in Chilean Caserones copper mine project with initial cost at US$ 2 billion.

Pan Pacific Copper controls 75% of Minera Lumina Copper Chile with 25% share by Mitsui & Co. The joint venture secured US$ 1.1 billion of project finance from JBIC, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and Hongokng and Shanghai Banking. The joint venture secures remaining US$ 300 million through long term loan from Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, Chuo Mitsui Trust and Banking and Sumitomo Trust & Banking.

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance supports the project finance through investment and loan insurance for natural resources and energy. Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation takes the projects risk by guaranteeing the long term loan.

Caserones copper mine will start electrolytic copper production with solvent extraction electrowinning process in January 2013. The project is to produce annual 150,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate and 30,000 tonnes in electrolytic copper along with 3,000 tonnes of molybdenum in first 10 years average. With the major project, Pan Pacific Copper expects the copper concentrate purchase from captive copper mines increases from current 20% level to 50%.