New setback for Inmet’s $6 billion copper project in Panama

The battle between Canadian miners Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. (TSX:PTQ) and Inmet Mining Corp. (TSX:IMN) over land rights near the Cobre Panama copper-gold project — the first large-scale mine in in Panama’s history — seems far from over.

On Thursday Inmet’s subsidiary, Minera Panama, suffered a setback in its attempts to extend its land rights close by Vancouver-based Petaquilla’s concessions San Juan and La Esperanza.

Prensa Latina (in Spanish) reports that Panama’s Supreme Court ruled in favour of Panama's land management authority’s latest decision to deny Inmet’s request to place a tailings facility within Petaquilla’s concessions.

This is an area comprised of 11,145 hectares, which Petaquilla has the rights to explore since 2007, as granted by the country’s Department of Mineral Resources.

According to our sources, the battle is likely to delay the necessary permits for Inmet to go ahead with Cobre Panama, expected to become the second most important copper mine in the world.

The $6.2 billion copper-gold porphyry Cobre Panama project contains more than 32 billion pounds of copper. According to Inmets’s estimations, it also has about nine million ounces of gold and 168 million ounces of silver in measured and indicated resources.

The mine is expected to ship its first consignment of concentrate during the first quarter of 2016, and the life-of-mine is expected to exceed 31 years.

A $5.1 billion hostile takeover bid for Inmet by another Canadian miner, First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM), (LON:FQM) is due to close on February 14.

(Image from Everett Collection,



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