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BHP to sell US copper assets to Capstone for $650M

Keywords: Tags  BHP Billiton, copper, divestiture, Pinto Valley, San Manuel Arizona Railroad Company, Smarrco, Capstone Mining, Peter Beaven Shivani Singh

SINGAPORE — BHP Billiton Plc is selling its Pinto Valley copper mine and associated San Manuel Arizona Railroad Co. (Smarrco) to Vancouver, British Columbia-based Capstone Mining Corp. as part of its disinvestment initiative.

"The sale of Pinto Valley is an excellent outcome for BHP Billiton shareholders," Peter Beaven, president of the company’s copper division, said April 29. "It is consistent with our strategy, and it takes the transaction value of divestments announced over the last 12 months to $5 billion."

The $650-million deal is subject to regulatory approvals but is expected to be completed in the second half of 2013.

BHP holds a 100-percent stake in both Pinto Valley, an open-pit copper mining operation east of Phoenix, and Smarrco, which operates a 30-mile-long railway southeast of Phoenix.

BHP recently reshuffled its top management, with incoming chief executive officer Andrew Mackenzie reiterating the miner’s focus on capital discipline (, April 18).

The miner saw its fiscal first-half profits fall nearly 58 percent compared with the same period last year (, Feb. 20).

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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