Inmet Mining and Teck Cominco Announce Arrangements for proceeding with Petaquilla Project

    TORONTO and VANCOUVER, March 26 /CNW/ - Inmet Mining Corporation
(IMN-TSX) and Teck Cominco Limited (TCK.A and TCK.B-TSX; TCK- NYSE) announced
today that they have entered into an agreement to proceed with the development
of the Petaquilla copper project in Panama. Under the agreement Teck Cominco
and Inmet Mining will work closely together during this next crucial phase of
project development. Inmet Mining owns a 48 percent interest in Minera
Petaquilla S.A. ("MPSA"), the Panamanian company that holds the Petaquilla
concession. Petaquilla Copper Ltd. currently owns a 52 percent interest in
    Under the existing MPSA shareholders' agreement between Teck Cominco,
Inmet Mining and Petaquilla Copper in connection with the Petaquilla project,
Teck Cominco may acquire from Petaquilla Copper a 26 percent interest in MPSA
by committing to participate in work plans and budgets and to fund up to
52 percent of development costs for the project through to commercial
production. Teck Cominco would receive 52 percent of project cash flow until
it has recouped its entire investment plus interest on amounts advanced on
behalf of Petaquilla Copper. In lieu of receiving funding from Teck Cominco,
Petaquilla Copper may elect, within 30 days of Teck Cominco's commitment, to
finance all or part of its 26 percent share of development costs.
    Teck Cominco and Inmet Mining will make the commitments to proceed
contemplated by the existing MPSA shareholders' agreement. Inmet Mining and
Teck Cominco have agreed that on an interim basis Inmet Mining will provide
additional personnel to an affiliate of Teck Cominco that will act as operator
of the project, and will fund project expenditures instead of Teck Cominco.
Teck Cominco has been funding 100 percent of front end engineering and design
costs to date. At the end of the interim period Teck Cominco may elect either
to continue participating in the project and resume funding or to sell its
    Don Lindsay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Teck Cominco, said,
"We have a high regard for the enormous potential of the Petaquilla project.
This arrangement with Inmet Mining allows the Petaquilla project to proceed
expeditiously, while preserving Teck Cominco's flexibility to progress other
projects in our growth pipeline such as the Quebrada Blanca hypogene project,
the Andacollo hypogene project and several other growth projects in oil sands
and gold."
    Richard Ross, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Inmet Mining, said,
"This agreement allows Inmet Mining to advance Petaquilla to the next level
and gives us the opportunity to realize the full value of the project.
Petaquilla is a world class project and an important element of our growth
    The specifics of the arrangement for Inmet Mining and Teck Cominco to
work together on Petaquilla are as follows:

    -   Teck Cominco and Inmet Mining will make commitments to proceed with
        the Petaquilla project in accordance with the existing shareholders
        agreement on or before March 31, 2008 such that Teck Cominco will
        receive a 26 percent interest, and Inmet Mining will confirm its
        48 percent interest, in MPSA.

    -   Teck Cominco will then transfer its 26 percent interest in MPSA into
        a new wholly owned subsidiary and will engage Inmet Mining to provide
        management services to that subsidiary. Teck Cominco and its
        affiliates will assign to its new subsidiary all rights and
        obligations under the management services agreement with MPSA so that
        the subsidiary becomes the operator of the Petaquilla project. Inmet
        Mining will indemnify the new subsidiary and Teck Cominco in respect
        of any failure of the subsidiary to perform its obligations under the
        management services agreement with MPSA.

    -   Inmet Mining will commit to provide project funding on behalf of Teck
        Cominco for its 26 percent interest and to fund Petaquilla Copper's
        26 percent interest provided that if Petaquilla Copper elects to
        fund its own portion, then Inmet Mining will only fund Teck Cominco's
        26 percent interest. Inmet Mining will indemnify Teck Cominco against
        any failure by Inmet Mining to fund Petaquilla Copper's share of
        development costs on behalf of Teck Cominco. Inmet Mining will
        receive a fee of US$3 million for providing the indemnity.

    -   At the earlier of September 30, 2009 or the date on which Inmet
        Mining has provided project funding of at least US$50 million, Teck
        Cominco must elect whether it will fund for its own account its share
        of development costs. Should Teck Cominco decide to so fund, it will
        reimburse Inmet Mining for any project funding provided by Inmet
        Mining on Teck Cominco's behalf to that date plus interest. After
        Teck Cominco has elected to fund its share of development costs, Teck
        Cominco and Inmet Mining will jointly participate in the governance
        of the new Teck Cominco subsidiary as operator of the project and the
        indemnity provided by Inmet Mining in respect of that subsidiary
        would terminate.

    -   If on the election date described above Teck Cominco elects not to
        fund its share of development costs, then Inmet Mining would offer to
        purchase, and Teck Cominco would sell, Teck Cominco's interest in
        MPSA, subject to the provisions of the MPSA shareholders agreement.
        The purchase price for Teck Cominco's interest would be equal to the
        funding provided by Inmet Mining under the arrangement for
        development costs plus accrued interest plus the fee payable to Inmet
        Mining for providing the indemnity in respect of Teck Cominco's final
        commitment. In such event Teck Cominco will reimburse Inmet Mining
        for any project funding provided by Inmet Mining on Teck Cominco's
        behalf to that date plus interest.

    Forward looking information

    Securities regulators encourage companies to disclose forward-looking
information to help investors understand a company's future prospects. This
press release contains forward-looking information. These are
"forward-looking" because we have used what we know and expect today to make a
statement about the future. Forward-looking statements usually include words
such as may, expect, anticipate, and believe or other similar words. We
believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are
reasonable. However, actual events and results could be substantially
different because of the risks and uncertainties associated with our
respective business or events that happen after the date of this press
release. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
    This press release is also available at and

    About Inmet - Inmet is a Canadian-based global mining company that
produces copper, zinc and gold. We have interests in four mining operations in
locations around the world: Cayeli, Pyhasalmi, Troilus and Ok Tedi. We also
have interests in two development properties, Las Cruces and Cerattepe, and
one pre-development property, Petaquilla.

    About Teck Cominco - Teck Cominco Limited is a diversified mining
company, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Shares are listed on the Toronto
Stock Exchange under the symbols TCK.A and TCK.B and on the New York Stock
Exchange under the symbol TCK. The company is a significant producer of
copper, zinc, metallurgical coal and specialty metals, and has interests in
several oil sands development assets. Further information can be found at

For further information:

For further information: Inmet: Jochen Tilk, President and Chief
Operating Officer, (416) 860-3972; Teck Cominco: Doug Horswill, Senior Vice
President, Environment and Corporate Affairs, (604) 687-1117

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