“We are collecting information about the project,” Pan said today in a phone interview. “The study is in early stages. We are still in internal discussion whether we’ll bid for it.”
MMG Ltd. (1208), the Hong Kong-listed unit of China Minmetals Corp. and Chinalco Mining Corp. International are among other groups considering bidding for the Las Bambas copper mine, people with knowledge of the matter have said. Glencore is selling the project as part of an agreement to obtain Chinese regulatory approval for its $29 billion takeover of Xstrata Plc this year.
Pan declined to comment on whether Guixi, Jiangxi province-based Jiangxi Copper may team up with another company to bid for the project. The possible bid was reported earlier by Reuters.
The Las Bambas mine is scheduled to produce 400,000 metric tons of copper a year starting in 2015 for at least the first five years. Xstrata said in January it was building the mine at a cost of $5.2 billion.
The agreement with China requires Glencore to pursue the sale of Las Bambas to a buyer approved by the country’s Commerce Ministry by Sept. 30 next year. The sale price will be the higher of two scenarios -- either an evaluation by two independent investment banks, or the total of all costs incurred by Glencore and Xstrata at the project, according to Glencore.
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