Ex-Barrick CEO said to offer $1bn for Glencore mine

Mining and commodity trading giant Glencore (LON:GLEN) kicked off the process to sell its Australian copper mine in Cobar, New South Wales, and its Lomas Bayas copper mine in the Atacama desert in Chile in October.

Glencore said at the time it had received a number of unsolicited expressions of interest for the mines and that potential buyers can bid to purchase "either one or both of the mines and may or may not result in a sale". Glencore said it expects to finalize the sales in the first half of the year.

It has emerged that one of the last bidders in the running for Lomas Bayas is former Barrick Gold Corp CEO Aaron Regent's Magris Resources.

Regent "is competing against a small number of Chilean-focused operators that have offered Glencore close to $1 billion for the mine" according to Bloomberg.

The Lomas Bayas open pit's output is 75,000 tonnes of refined copper per year. Glencore acquired Lomas Bayas as part of its 2013 takeover of Xstrata. Cobar produces roughly 50,000 tonnes copper in concentrate per year.

These mines are over and above the asset sales, share offerings and other money raising efforts including byproduct forward sales detailed by the Swiss-based company as part of its plans to reduce its crippling debt load by $13 billion over the near term.

March copper futures in New York traded at $1.96 a pound ($4,320 a tonne) on Wednesday, levels last seen March 2009.