March 16, 2009 / 9:12 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Baja cuts Boleo project cost estimate by 12 pct

* Cuts cost estimate for Boleo project by over $100 mln

* Expects to appoint EPCM contractor in Q2

March 16 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Baja Mining Corp BAJ.TO lowered its capital cost estimate for its Boleo project in Mexico by 12 percent.

Excluding working capital and financing costs, Baja now expects to spend $767 million on the project, down from its April 2008 estimate of $872 million.

Baja is the majority owner of the Boleo project at Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur, Mexico. On an average, the project is expected to annually produce 56,000 tonnes of copper cathode, 1,500 tonnes of cobalt cathode and 20,000 tonnes of zinc sulphate for the first four years.

Baja also said it has invited tenders from several engineering firms for the project and expects to appoint an Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management contractor in the second quarter of 2009.

The tender will be kept open until the end of March, said the company, which has $40 million cash on hand, more than its market capitalization.

Shares of Baja closed at 25.5 Canadian cents Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by R. Manikandan in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)

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