Financial News

  • 15 April 2014, 8:40

Glencore Sells Peru Mine To China For 3.5bn

A group of Chinese state-owned companies is to buy a copper mine in Peru from Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore Xstrata for 3.5bn in cash.

The purchase is the latest in a string of Chinese resource acquisitions abroad.

Glencore confirmed on Sunday it had agreed to sell its entire interest in the Las Bambas copper mine to the consortium.

The group is led by MMG, a mining company controlled by state-owned China Minmetals Nonferrous Metals.

The other state-controlled buyers are Guoxin International Investment Corporation and Citic Metal.

Sky News City Editor Mark Kleinman revealed last May that the merger between Glencore and Xstrata - demanded by the Chinese government to secure the deal - was contingent on the Peruvian mine sale.

The Chinese government's insistence on the disposal underlined Beijing's heightened awareness of consolidation in the natural resources sector, as its economy demands increasing volumes of commodities to support its expansion.

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said: "Today's announcement demonstrates our commitment to maximising value for our shareholders.

"Since we acquired Xstrata (last May), our team has taken decisive steps to de-risk Las Bambas, which has culminated in this compelling offer from the consortium.

"Our willingness to sell reflects the level of the offer and our conviction that we can utilise the sale proceeds to create additional shareholder value."

China's government-owned energy and mining companies have sought multi-billion acquisitions, hoping to profit from future domestic and foreign demand.

The deal also requires the Chinese buyers to reimburse Glencore for the cost of developing the copper mine from the start of the year until the sale closes.

The miner said that by the end of March 2014, capital expenditure and other costs incurred in the first quarter reached around 240m.

In 2013 Chinese mining and energy purchases abroad totalled 17.8bn, according to financial information firm Dealogic.

They included China National Petroleum's 2.5bn purchase of an oilfield share in Mozambique from Italy's ENI.