Magris Resources Inc., the investment company founded by former Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) Chief Executive Officer Aaron Regent, is considering a bid for Glencore Xstrata Plc’s Las Bambas copper-mining project in Peru, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Las Bambas is among mining assets that Toronto-based Magris is evaluating, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information hasn’t been made public.
Jiangxi Copper Co., China’s largest producer of the metal, said today it’s interested in Las Bambas. MMG Ltd. (1208), a unit of state-controlled commodity trader China Minmetals Corp., and Chinalco Mining Corp. International are considering bidding, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month.
Las Bambas could fetch more than $6 billion for Glencore, Liberum Capital Ltd. analyst Ash Lazenby said in a note this week. If Magris bids and is successful, it could be the Toronto-based firm’s first acquisition. Regent, 47, was fired in June 2012 by Barrick after the board said it was disappointed with the gold company’s share-price performance. Before Barrick, he was a senior managing partner of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM/A), which he joined after being CEO of nickel miner Falconbridge Ltd.
Magris is seeking mining assets mainly in the Americas with backing from institutional and private-equity investors, a person familiar with the situation said in May.
The sale of Las Bambas, which is under construction in the Andes, was a condition set by Chinese regulators in their approval of Glencore’s $29 billion takeover of Xstrata Plc, a deal that was completed in May. Glencore hopes to close the Las Bambas sale by the year-end, Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg said on an Aug. 20 conference call. BMO Capital Markets and Credit Suisse Group AG are advising Glencore on the sale.
Las Bambas is scheduled to produce 400,000 metric tons of copper a year starting in 2015 for at least the first five years of operation and will cost $5.2 billion to build, Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore said in January.
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