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$1 Billion Copper Mine Deal In The Making Here

Mine sales are continuing to accelerate around the world. With names emerging this week in one of the biggest sales going in the copper industry right now.

That’s the Lomas Bayas mine in Chile. Which was put on the block by owner Glencore in October.

Local press reported Monday that Chilean firm Copec has officially revealed its intent to purchase Lomas Bayas. With the company submitting an offer to Glencore ahead of a possible decision from the major miner this month. Related: 4 Big Energy Stocks To Watch In 2016

The buy would be Copec’s first large-scale move into the mining space — with the Chilean conglomerate currently focused on energy and forestry operations. The firm had bid last year for a 50 percent interest in the Zaldivar copper mine in Chile being sold by Barrick Gold, but was beaten in the auction by Antofagasta.

But it looks like the potential purchase of Lomas Bayas could be an even more opportune move for Copec.

That’s because the mine appears to be selling cheap. With sources telling Chilean papers that the purchase price for Lomas Bayas could be under $1 billion — significantly less than previous estimates for the sale, which had ranged from $1.1 to $1.5 billion. Related: Saudi-Iran Dispute Won’t Cause Lasting Oil Price Rally

But the deal isn’t a lock for Copec. With Glencore saying late in December that it has received interest in Lomas Bayas from companies in Australia and Asia — in addition to buyers in South America.

We may never know the identifies of all the bidding parties in this case. But it will be very interesting to see who emerges as the winner for the mine.

At the very least, the fact that new players like Copec are being drawn into the market is a positive sign for the industry. Suggesting that outside businesspeople are seeing value in the sector, even amid the current downturn in metals.

Watch for more details soon on the sale, with sources suggesting that a deal could be done by January 15.

Here’s to new blood

By Dave Forest

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