Tenke Mining Corp.

Tenke Mining Corp.

December 06, 2006 16:50 ET

Tenke Fungurume Project Receives Construction Approval From Phelps Dodge

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 6, 2006) - Tenke Mining Corp. ("Tenke" or the "Company") (TSX:TNK) is pleased to report that the Phelps Dodge Corporation Board of Directors has given conditional approval to construct the first phase of copper/cobalt mining operations at the Tenke Fungurume project in Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ("DRC"). Final approval is contingent upon obtaining outstanding signatures from government authorities for agreements already reached with Societe Nationale d'Electricite ("SNEL"), the DRC State electricity provider.

The initial Tenke Fungurume project will include development of a mine and associated copper and cobalt processing facilities. It will require a capital investment of approximately US $650 million. Phelps Dodge is responsible for providing 70 percent of the funding. Tenke is responsible for providing the other 30 percent. The exact amount of funding required from each party will be determined after debt financing is obtained.

A Phelps Dodge subsidiary will be the operator of the project. Ownership positions in the project are: Phelps Dodge, 57.75 percent; Tenke Mining Corp., 24.75 percent; and Gecamines, DRC's state-owned mining company, 17.5 percent.

Tenke Fungurume is considered to be one of the largest, highest-grade, undeveloped copper/cobalt deposits in the world today. An ongoing, extensive exploration program is continuing to develop reserves to support future expansions.

The initial project will focus on 103 million metric tons of oxide ore reserves(i). It is expected to be in full production in late 2008 or early 2009. During the first 10 years of mining, total annual production is projected to be approximately 250 million pounds (113,400 tonnes) of copper and 18 million pounds (8,200 tonnes) of cobalt. The life of the initial project is anticipated to be approximately 40 years.

Estimates are the initial project will employ up to 2,500 construction workers at peak construction and will create approximately 1,100 full-time jobs. Projections estimate an additional 5,000 indirect jobs will be created in surrounding communities.

Paul Conibear, President of Tenke, commented, "We are delighted with the rapid progress being made on the project by our partner Phelps Dodge. The Tenke Fungurume project is slated to become one of the largest copper mines in the world and will serve as a strong foundation for growth, sustaining Phelps Dodge as a world leader in copper production."

Phelps Dodge is one of the world's leading producers of copper and molybdenum and is the largest producer of molybdenum-based chemicals and continuous-cast copper rod. The company employs more than 15,000 people worldwide. Tenke Mining Corp. is focused on copper exploration and development with six copper/gold projects under active exploration in Argentina and Chile in addition to its ownership position on Tenke Fungurume.

Tenke Mining Corp. will host a conference call on Thursday, December 7, 2006 at 11:30 a.m. PST (2:30 p.m. EST). Please call in 5 minutes before the conference calls starts and stay on the line. An operator will be available to provide assistance.

Call-in number for the conference call: 416-644-3423

North America Toll Free: 800-732-6179

A presentation will be available for viewing on the Tenke website: www.tenke.com

A replay of the telephone conference will be available approximately one hour after the completion of the conference and until December 14, 2006. The replay number in North America is 416-640-1917 or toll free 1-877-289-8525. To access the recording, please enter access code: 21212517#.

(i) Phelps Dodge and its specialist consultants have prepared ore reserve statements in accordance with guidelines established by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. laws and regulations. Tenke Mining Corp. has not reviewed nor verified the Phelps Dodge ore reserve statements. As previously reported (June 23, 2006) Tenke Fungurume mineral resource estimates have been prepared by the Company in accordance with NI 43-101, by independent qualified persons John Nilsson, P.Eng. of Nilsson Mine Services Ltd. and Abdullah Arik, B.Sc. M.Sc. of Mintec lnc. Their report dated May 20, 2006 is available on www.sedar.com.

On Behalf of the Board

Paul K. Conibear, President

Forward Looking Statements

Certain information regarding the Company set forth in this press release, including the Company's future plans contains forward looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These forward looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond the Company's and management's control, including but not limited to, the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, fluctuation of commodity prices, fluctuation of foreign exchange rates, imperfection of mineral estimates, environmental risks, industry competition, availability of qualified personnel and management, stock market volatility, timely and cost effective access to sufficient capital from internal and external sources. The Company's actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in or implied by, these forward looking statements and accordingly, no assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated to occur or transpire from the forward looking statements will provide any benefits to the Company.

Contact Information

  • Tenke Mining Corp.
    Sophia Shane
    Corporate Development
    (604) 689-7842
    (604) 689-4250 (FAX)
    Website: www.tenke.com