Mantos Copper looks to expand two mines

July 6, 2018

Mantos Copper, a private equity-backed mining company based in Chile is looking to extend the mine life of the Mantos Blancos and Mantoverde copper mines and is looking for a buyer to help finance the expansion.

The company acquired the mines from Anglo American in 2015 for $300 million plus $200 million in conditional future payments.

Reuters reported that to finance the expansion, which will cost nearly $1 billion, Mantos Copper hired French investment bank Societe Generale on the debt financing component and Bank of Nova Scotia to raise equity.

The company is also now using Bank of Nova Scotia to find a buyer.

“If Scotia Bank finds a majority shareholder for the company, that will also be considered over and above the equity financing,” Chief Executive John MacKenzie told Reuters.

Once these projects are completed between 2020 and 2021, Mantos Copper expects production to nearly double to 165 kt/a (182,000 st) , from 87.8 kt (96,800 st) in 2017.

Chile is the world’s largest copper producer, fulfilling 30 percent of global demand, and the metal accounts for up to 15 percent of gross domestic product. Fulfilling 30 percent of global demand.

There are not many copper assets currently available on the market. The world’s biggest listed miner BHP has agreed to sell the Cerro Colorado mine in Chile to Australian private equity fund EMR Capital.

Rio Tinto said it was in discussions to sell its interest in Grasberg, the world's second largest copper mine, to Indonesia's state mining holding company Inalum.

Mantos Copper's sale is an alternative to the company listing its shares on the open market in Toronto or London towards 2020-2021 to bring in permanent investors and raise capital, a banking source said.

It is an easier option now that prices of all raw materials have been depressed by fears of a looming trade war between the United States and China, the source added.



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