The trading-cum-mining group Glencore today announces the commencement of a process to sell its wholly-owned Cobar copper mine in Australia and Lomas Bayas copper mine in Chile, adding to a $10 billion debt-cutting plan announced last month.
The Swiss company may divest the Cobar mine in Australia’s New South Wales together with a metallurgical plant that produces about 50, 000 metric tons of copper-in-concentrate a year, Glencore said Monday in a statement.
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The sale process is in response to Glencore receiving a number of unsolicited expressions of interest for these mines from various potential buyers. This will allow potential buyers to bid to purchase either one or both of the mines and may or may not result in a sale. Glencore will issue an update only in the event a sale is agreed or disclosure is otherwise required.
Cobar is a high-grade underground copper mine and a concentrate plant in central western New South Wales, Australia. The plant throughput is approximately 1.1 million tonnes of ore per annum.
Lomas Bayas is a low-cost, open pit copper mine which is located in the Atacama desert, 120 kilometres north-east of the port of Antofagasta, Chile. The low grade copper ore mined at this facility is processed by heap leaching and converted to copper cathode after processing through the SX-EW plant. The Lomas Bayas operation produces approximately 75, 000 tonnes
of copper cathode per annum.
The disposals would add to a debt-cutting program announced by Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg in early September. That plan includes selling $2.5 billion of new stock, asset sales, spending cuts and suspending the dividend — in total reducing debt from $30 billion nearer to $20 billion. The company has said it intends to raise at least $2 billion from the sale of a minority stake in its agricultural assets and precious-metals streaming transactions, Bloomberg reports