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Armenian copper producer discusses additional funding with VTB

Interfax reported that Armenian metals company Armenian Copper Program is discussing additional funding with Russia's VTB for its project to develop the Tekhut copper-molybdenum field in northern Armenia. Mr Gagik Arzumanian ACP's general director said ACP signed a deal with VTB on May 27th 2008 to raise a 12-year loan of USD 249.5 million for the project, and is now looking to increase the loan facility to USD 280 million. He said that he met with representatives of the bank in Moscow last week and managed to find the sort of format that enables us to start full funding for the project in a month or two." He said the loan would be disbursed in several tranches, and that he hoped that a first USD 50 million would be received in 2009. The funds would enable the company to start preparing to put the Tekhut field into production at the sort of pace that we planned previously."

The credit program states that ore should be mined and processed at the field starting in 2011. Tekhut's ore reserves at 450 million tonnes, containing 1.6 million tonnes of copper with average Cu content of 0.355% and 99,000 tonnes of molybdenum, average content 0.021%. The company plans to annually mine 25,000 tonnes to 30,000 tonnes of copper and 800 tonnes of molybdenum, which will account for 40% to 50% of Armenia's copper production and up to 20% of its molybdenum output. ACP received a 25 year license to develop Tekhut in 2001.

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