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South32 eyes early 2022 wrap up for Chile copper project stake deal

Thu, 25th Nov 2021 10:41

(Alliance News) - South32 Ltd on Thursday said it expects a USD1.55 billion deal to buy a 45% interest in a copper mine in Chile to conclude early next year.

In October, the Perth-based diversified miner entered into two binding conditional agreements with Tokyo-based miner and metal smelting firm Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd and Japanese trading firm Sumitomo Corp. The deals will see it acquire a 45% stake in Sierra Gorda, a long-life copper mine, through an indirect interest in Sierra Gorda SCM.

Completion of the deal is expected in "early 2022", South32 announced on Thursday.

State-backed Polish miner KGHM Polska Miedz SA currently holds a 55% operating stake in the Sierra Gorda. Of the remainder, 31.5% is owned by Sumitoto Metal Mining, and 13.5% by Sumitomo Corp.

The acquisition would give South32 joint control alongside KGHM.

In 2020, the open-pit mine produced almost 150,000 tonnes of copper concentrate.

South32 shares were 1.0% higher at 195.40 pence each in London on Thursday morning. Shortly after midday in Johannesburg, the stock was up 0.3% at ZAR41.21 each.

By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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