Antofagasta sells electricity transmission business for $117m

Chile-focused copper miner Antofagasta Plc (LON:ANTO) said Friday it had sold its electricity transmission business Centinela Transmisión for $117 million.

Proceeds from the sale would enable Antofagasta to focus on its core activity of producing copper.

The company said the sale of the unit that holds its electricity transmission lines was consistent with its strategy of disposing of its water and energy assets.

“This allows us to focus on our core business of producing copper safely and profitably,” chief executive Ivan Arriagada said.

The business includes three transmission lines, extending for 265 km, which feed the Centinela copper mine. This subsidiary was created in November 2016, with the intention of easing its future sale.

Antofagasta, majority-owned by Chile's Luksic family, one of the country’s wealthiest, set up its 70%-owned Centinela division in 2014 from the merger of the Esperanza and El Tesoro mining companies.

Centinela mines sulphide and oxide deposits 1,350 km north of Santiago in the Antofagasta Region, one of Chile’s most important mining areas.

Centinela Concentrates produces copper concentrate (containing gold and silver) through a milling and flotation process, and Centinela Cathodes produces copper cathodes using a solvent extraction and electrowinning process SX-EW.