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Chinalco ‘shows interest’ in Las Bambas copper project

Keywords: Tags  Las Bambas, Glencore, Xstrata, Peru, Chinalco, Toromocho, Metal Bulletin, Carolina Guerra

SÃO PAULO — Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. (Chinalco) has shown interest in acquiring the Las Bambas copper project in Peru, according to the local government.

"We had a meeting with Chinalco’s senior executives and they expressed their interest in (acquiring) Las Bambas, as well as looking for new exploration sites," Peruvian energy and mines minister Jorge Merino Tafur said in a video released by local newspaper Gestión.

"They want to keep investing in Peru," Tafur said, adding that other companies are also considering a purchase of the project.

China imposed the sale of the project as a condition for its approval of the merger between Glencore International Plc and Xstrata Plc (now Glencore Xstrata Plc).

Glencore Xstrata has until September 2014 to find a buyer. The project is estimated to be worth more than $5 billion.

The project is expected to start production in the first quarter of 2015 and its output is set to reach 400,000 tonnes of copper per year.

Chinalco is also making a $4.8-billion investment in copper project Toromocho, in Peru’s Junín region, according to information from the country’s energy and mines ministry.

Investment estimates were at $3.5 billion until earlier this month when Chinalco’s board approved an additional investment for the expansion of Toromocho.

The project is expected to start production in December and its output will total 300,000 tonnes of copper per year, up from the 270,000 tonnes of copper per year forecast before the announcement of the new investment. 

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

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