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Dumas sells control to Swiss company

Pala Investment Holding Limited of Zug, Switzerland, has acquired a controlling interest in Dumas Contracting Ltd., a mine development and engineering company based in Timmins.

Dumas Contracting Ltd. began as a small mining contracting company in 1994 with five employees, and now employs approximately 1,000 people.

“Pala’s investment in Dumas represents the beginning of an exciting new stage in Dumas’ exceptional growth story,” said company president and CEO Dan Dumas. “Together, we will continue to develop Dumas as a major mining contractor, maintaining our core values of excellent client service, commitment to employees and uncompromising safety standards that have made the business the success it has been to date.”

Dumas has performed work for Falconbridge (now Xstrata Copper), Placer Dome, the Porcupine Joint Venture, Goldcorp Inc., Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., Mines Horizon, and River Gold Mines Ltd.

The company recently sunk a 4,800-foot shaft and completed 3,000 feet of lateral development at Agnico-Eagle’s Lapa Project in Quebec. At Mines Horizon’s Casa Berardi project, also in Quebec, Dumas Contracting recently completed the sinking of an 810-metre shaft.

Just prior to the announcement of Pala’s acquisition of a controlling interest in the company, Dumas snagged a mine development contract in Mexico, its first outside of Canada.

“Pala’s commitment to the long-term future of Dumas will allow us to provide our customers an expanded offering both in service range and geography, while maintaining the highest level of quality they have come to expect from us,” said Dumas. “Our headquarters in Timmins and all of the mining communities in which we operate can be confident that with Pala’s commitment, we will continue to grow and prosper together.”

Pala, an investment company focused on the mining and natural resources sectors, currently has more than $1.2 billion of assets under management. Its holdings include Toronto-based Norcast, a supplier of mill liners and conical-shaped grinding media for the mining industry, and Vancouver-based Gemcom Software International Inc., a global supplier of specialized mining productivity solutions.

Pala acquired Norcast, which operates two plants in Mont Joli, Quebec, 325 kilometres east of Quebec City, for $87 million in March 2007. So far this year, it has invested in Dumas, Gemcom, Coalcorp Mining Inc., Reclamation Consulting and Applications, Inc. and Rockwell Diamonds Inc.

“We are excited by the combination of Dumas’ proven operational excellence and high quality and committed workforce, with Pala’s considerable experience in developing mining companies, its significant capital base and its skill in implementing best practice business systems and controls,” said Jan Castro, managing director of Pala. “We believe this partnership puts Dumas in an excellent position to provide its customers with the highest level of support in their operations around the world.”

Dumas provides mine construction, mine development, shaft sinking, surface construction and engineering services to its customers and has recently expanded its offering to include raise boring capabilities.

Dan Dumas remains a significant shareholder and continues to direct the company as president and CEO.

Prior to establishing Pala Investments in 1996, Castro was senior vice president of investments and corporate affairs for Mechel OAO, a major Russian mining company.

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