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KGHM Joint Venture Approved by Abacus Shareholders

June 22 (Bloomberg) -- Abacus Mining & Exploration Corp. shareholders approved a plan to jointly develop a mine in British Columbia and other projects with KGHM Polska Miedz SA, Poland’s only copper producer.

Abacus shareholders voted 90 percent in favor of the project, the Vancouver-based metals explorer said today at a special meeting of investors.

KGHM agreed last month to pay $37 million for a 51 percent stake in a venture to develop the Afton-Ajax copper deposit near Kamloops, British Columbia. Lubin, Poland-based KGHM also has the right to buy another 29 percent of the venture with Abacus for $35 million.

“We now have a partner to see us fast track through pre-feasibility to feasibility and production,” Doug Fulcher, chief executive officer of Abacus, said today in an interview in Vancouver.

The mine’s development will cost about $600 million, Fulcher said. The company expects to finish the feasibility study by the fourth quarter of 2011.

KGHM is seeking to expand its copper reserves and output outside Poland while reducing its average production costs by tapping Abacus’s exploration expertise. The two companies said last month they will cooperate in a global search for copper deposits.

The Polish company, the world’s ninth-largest copper producer and third-larger silver miner, last month acquired 8.75 percent of Abacus’s outstanding shares for C$4.5 million ($4.4 million) in a private placement.

Abacus rose 1 cent, or 5.9 percent, to 18 Canadian cents at 3:20 p.m. in TSX Venture Exchange trading in Toronto. The shares declined 11 percent this year through yesterday.

KGHM fell 2.5 zloty, or 2.6 percent, to 92.5 zloty in Warsaw Stock Exchange trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Donville in Vancouver at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at

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