OZ, EMR Capital Said Among Final Bidders for Glencore Cobar Mine

  • Sale of Australian copper mine may fetch about $300 million
  • Glencore divesting assets to trim its $30 billion of debt

OZ Minerals Ltd. and EMR Capital Advisors Pty are among suitors picked to make final offers for Glencore Plc’s Cobar copper mine in Australia, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Swiss commodity trader and producer is in negotiations with bidders for the New South Wales mine, which may fetch about $300 million, said the people, asking not to be identified as the details are private. The talks may still fall apart, and Glencore could end up keeping the asset, the people said.

Glencore Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg is selling assets to mitigate concern about the company’s capacity to pay down $30 billion of debt as commodity prices tumble. Earlier this month, Glencore agreed to sell 40 percent of its agriculture unit to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $2.5 billion, and the company said in March it’s confident of getting more than A$1 billion ($776 million) for its Australian coal train assets.

The Cobar mine produces about 50,000 metric tons of copper concentrate a year, Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore said in October. The company is also selling the Lomas Bayas open-pit mine in Chile, which produces about 75,000 tons of refined copper a year. 

OZ Minerals, Australia’s third-largest copper producer, said in July it’s conducting a global search to add new base metals assets. EMR, a private equity firm led by former Rio Tinto Group executive Owen Hegarty, specializes in natural resources investments and manages the EMR Capital Resources Fund, according to its website.

Spokesmen for Glencore and OZ Minerals declined to comment. A representative for EMR Capital didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment. 

Peter Grauer, the chairman of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, is a senior independent non-executive director at Glencore.

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