Inmet takes over Teck’s Cerattepe project

A deal between the Turkish subsidiaries of two Canadian mining companies will give Inmet Mining (IMN-T) control of the Cerattepe copper and gold deposit, near Artvin in northeastern Turkey.

Under the deal, Cayeli Bakir Isletmeleri, in which Inmet owns a 55% interest, will take over Teck Cominco Madencilik Sanayi, the wholly owned Teck Cominco (TEK-T) subsidiary that owns Cerattepe. (The minority interest in Cayeli Bakir is owned by Turkish state enterprise Eti Holding.)

In return, Teck gets US$2 million on closing and US$4.5 million that is payable on the start of commercial production, or 18 months after the closing date, whichever comes first. A third payment, also US$4.5 million, is due 12 months after commercial production starts, but no later than the end of 2006. There are also deferred royalty payments on gold produced from Cerattepe.

Cerattepe, which Cominco discovered in 1988, is a volcanogenic massive sulphide in Turkey’s Mesozoic-aged Eastern Pontide belt. The deposit has two zones, a primary copper-rich massive sulphide zone and an oxidized, near-surface zone with residual gold-silver mineralization. Cominco, and subsequently Teck Cominco, did almost 34,000 metres of drilling on the project.

The copper deposit hosts indicated resources of 3.9 million tonnes grading 5.2% copper, 1.2 grams gold and 25 grams silver per tonne. The indicated tonnage of the oxide material is 8.2 million tonnes grading 3.9 grams gold and 129 grams silver per tonne.

Prefeasibility work that Cayeli Bakir has already done on the Teck Cominco data indicates a high-grade zone of 1.3 million tonnes grading 10% copper, 0.5% zinc, 1.3 grams gold and 29 grams silver per tonne. Cayeli Bakir will next study the feasibility of developing that zone by an underground ramp and trucking ore to the Cayeli copper-zinc mine, 200 km away by road.


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