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BHP’s Pinto Valley sale to Capstone approved by FTC

Keywords: Tags  Federal Trade Commission, FTC, Capstone, Pinto Valley, copper, BHP Billiton, Claire Hack

LONDON — The sale of BHP Billiton Plc’s Pinto Valley copper mine in Arizona to Capstone Mining Corp. has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Anti-trust Improvements Act.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Capstone announced April 28 that it had entered into an agreement with BHP’s copper division to purchase the Pinto Valley mining operation and the associated San Manuel Arizona Railroad Co. for $650 million (, April 29).

The restart of the Pinto Valley Mine is "progressing according to plan," the company said. As of May 27, throughput over a 20-day period in May averaged about 49,100 tonnes per day at an average grade of 0.33 percent copper, producing about 6.5 million pounds of copper. Copper recovery averaged 84.2 percent, producing copper concentrate with an average grade of 29 percent.

"We are very pleased that the restart of the Pinto Valley operation is proceeding well and according to plan," Capstone president and chief executive officer Darren Pylot said in a statement. "The successful restart and FTC approval are two important steps towards closing of the transaction."

The key remaining condition is the transfer of operating permits, which is now under way, Pylot said. "Once those transfers are completed, we would anticipate proceeding quickly to close the transaction, which we expect will take place in the third quarter."

The transaction is still subject to customary closing conditions, Capstone said.

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

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