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Chinese consortium buys Las Bambas Mine for $5.85 billion
April 14, 2014

A Chinese consortium purchased the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru from Glencore Xstrata for $5.85 billion. Reuters reported that it is one of Chin's largest mining acquisitions in recent years.

Glencore agreed to sell the mine as terms of an agreement with China to allow the merger of Glencore and Xstrata. China placed the demand on its approval of the merger because it feared the combined company would have too much control over the global copper market.

The Chinese consortium is led by MMG Ltd., an offshore arm of China Minmetals Corp. and includes Guoxin International Invest Corp and China's Citic Metal Co Ltd.

A Chinese buyer had been considered a virtual certainty since Las Bambas was put on the block, given the deep pockets of China's state-owned enterprises and China's hunger for copper - it is already the world's top consumer of the metal, Reuters reported.

Las Bambas, one of the largest mines in Xstrata's project portfolio, is due to begin production in 2015. It is expected to produce more than 450,000 tonnes of copper a year in its first five years and 300,000 tonnes a year thereafter.

Glencore will receive about $5.85 billion in cash upon completion of the deal. In addition, all capital expenditure and development costs since the beginning of the year until the closure of the deal will also be payable by the consortium.

Capital expenditure and other costs incurred since the start of the year were about $400 million as of March 31.

Glencore said proceeds from the sale will "immediately and materially" deleverage its balance sheet.

The deal, which is expected to close prior to the end of the third quarter, is subject to approval from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) as well as approval from MMG's shareholders.

China Minmetals Non-Ferrous Metals Co Ltd, which holds about 74 percent of MMG, has agreed to vote in favour of the deal, Glencore said.

Glencore said it would continue to look for opportunities to reinvest capital and any surplus capital would be returned to shareholders.

BMO Capital Markets and Credit Suisse advised Glencore on the sale 

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