Glencore to sell two copper mines to pay down debt

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Image credit: Glencore website

Mining giant Glencore has announced that it has put up two copper mines for sale – the Cobar copper mine in central western New South Wales and the Lomas Bayas copper mine in Chile.

Image credit: Glencore website

Glencore is the world’s largest copper supplier and third-largest copper miner.

Cobar is a high-grade underground copper mine and a concentrate plant in central western New South Wales, Australia. The plant throughput is approximately 1.1 million tonnes of ore per annum and it produces approximately 50,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate per annum. The Cobar mine employs 500 people.

Lomas Bayas is a low-cost, open pit copper mine in the Atacama Desert, 120 kilometres north-east of the port of Antofagasta, Chile. The Lomas Bayas operation produces approximately 75,000 tonnes of copper cathode per annum.

According to the announcement, the decision comes in the wake of several unsolicited expressions of interest from potential buyers.

“This will allow potential buyers to bid to purchase either one or both of the mines and may or may not result in a sale. Glencore will issue an update only in the event a sale is agreed or disclosure is otherwise required,” Glencore said.

The company is trying to sell some of its assets in order to raise cash to cut its net debt by a third, to about $US20 billion by the end of next year.

Last Friday, Glencore announced that it is slashing its zinc production by a third in response to plummeting zinc prices.