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PolyMet announces results of private placement

PolyMet Mining Corp. announced today it has likely received the final dose of equity investment needed to build a facility that will remove copper, nickel and other precious metals from an ore body near Hoyt Lakes.

PolyMet Mining Corp. announced today it has likely received the final dose of equity investment needed to build a facility that will remove copper, nickel and other precious metals from an ore body near Hoyt Lakes.

During the past several weeks, PolyMet successfully orchestrated a private placement that will net more than $41 million, after the payment of $1.5 million in finders' fees to parties who helped facilitate the offering.

PolyMet Executive Vice President Warren Hudelson said the company should be able to obtain the remaining $380 million it needs to complete the project through borrowing. PolyMet has re-tained the services of BNP Paribas, an international bank based in France, to handle its senior debt financing.

Hudelson said he considers debt the preferable means of financing the remaining cost of the pro-ject. He explained that issuing still more stock could potentially have diluted the value of the company's 136 million currently issued and outstanding shares.

Pending regulatory approvals, PolyMet aims to begin construction of its facility by the fourth quarter of this year. If that timeline holds, the mining operation could be in production by the fourth quarter of 2008, said PolyMet President and CEO William Murray.

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When and if it begins operations, PolyMet expects to employ about 400 people on a full-time basis, processing about 32,000 tons of ore per day. A University of Minnesota Duluth study indicated the plant also could generate about 500 jobs in the service and support sectors.

Temporary jobs also would result from the project's development. Hudelson said setting up PolyMet's new facility will require an estimated 1 million hours of labor, in addition to about 350,000 hours of engineering.

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