Antofagasta and Duluth Metals Form Partnership to Develop Mining Project

On January 14, 2010, Antofagasta plc announced that it had signed a legally binding heads of agreement with Duluth Metals Limited on the joint venture development of the large-scale Nokomis Mining Project in northeast Minnesota, USA.

The joint venture provides the execution and financing capabilities required to aggressively advance the Nokomis Project to commercial production. Antofagasta will initially become a 40 per cent partner in Duluth Metals' Nokomis Project for US$130 million in direct expenditure funding and will have the option to acquire an additional 25 per cent interest in the project under certain conditions, including the payment of 25 per cent of the net present value of the project, for an aggregate interest of 65 per cent. Antofagasta has also subscribed to a private placement by Duluth Metals to become an approximately 7 per cent shareholder for $12 million. In addition, Antofagasta will provide US$55 million to the joint venture and loans to Duluth Metals of US$30 million for future funding commitments of the joint venture if needed.

Antofagasta plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE-100 index with interests in mining, transport and water distribution. Duluth Metals is a Canadian advanced-stage mineral exploration corporation that is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Antofagasta was represented in-house by counsel Daniel Altikes, and was represented by a team from Lang Michener LLP that was led by Darrell Podowski and included Laurel Petryk and Alexis Cloutier.

Duluth Metals was represented by a team from Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, led by Michael Melanson, that included Brian Abraham, Ralph Shay and Peter Danner.