Anglo American (LON:AAL) may sell close to 30% of its $5.5-billion Quellaveco project in southern Peru to Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi, which already has a 18% stake in the asset, considered the world’s next major copper mine.
The miner, which has already invested over $1 billion in Quellaveco since acquiring the property in 1992, had said its board would not make a final investment decision until it has de-risked the project by reducing its 82% holding in the copper asset.
Chief executive Mark Cutifani told investors last year he wanted to keep at least 51% of Quellaveco, which has the capacity to generate 225,000 tonnes of copper a year, adding he had been “engaging” with potential parties interested in joining the project.
As an existing partner, Mitsubishi has an option to increase its stake in Quellaveco to 30%, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday. The company may have to fend off fellow Japanese trading houses Sumitomo, Mitsui, JX Nippon Mining & Metals and Itochu, all of which are said to be about to present Anglo with a formal offer.
Quellaveco has the permits needed for its development, but has been stalled since 2013.
More to come…
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