SÃO PAULO The
buyer of Perus Las Bambas copper project "doesnt
necessarily have to be a Chinese company," according to
Peruvian energy and mines minister Jorge Merino Tafur.
The former Glencore
International Plc, which recently merged to form Glencore
Xstrata Plc, agreed to sell its interest in the project in
order to receive Chinas Ministry of Commerces
approval of its merger with miner Xstrata Plc (
amm.com, April 16).
"The Chinese government has
imposed this condition, but it is a sale like any other in the
world. The buyer doesnt necessarily have to be a Chinese
company," Tafur told Peruvian newspaper La
The project, which is expected
to start production in the first quarter of 2015, is about 30
percent complete, according to the ministry. The minister
recently visited the 400,000-tonne-per-year copper project to
inspect construction work at the site.
"Glencore will evaluate the
issue and has until September 2014 to find a buyer. Las
Bambas budget ($5.2 billion) is assured. There is a
contract with the (Peruvian) state that is being fulfilled,"
The minister said he expects
Peruvian copper production to double by 2016 to 2.8 million
tonnes per year.
"This is happening due to projects like Cerro Verde, Las
Bambas and Toromocho, to cite some of the most important. They
will guarantee that we keep increasing production," Tafur
A version of this article
was first published by AMM sister publication Metal