Glencore can't find buyer to pay up for Lomas Bayas

Mining and commodities giant Glencore (LON:GLEN) is not selling its Lomas Bayas copper mine, after offers for the property in Chile’s Atacama desert came in below expectations according to media reports.

Reuters reports the mine was expected to fetch about $500 million, but "according to people familiar with the situation" Glencore is ditching disposal plans for the moment partly because even after three rounds of bidding it couldn't get the right price.

Potential bidders were said to include former Barrick Gold CEO Aaron Regent's company Magris Resources, Chilean energy firm Copec and various private equity firms.

In October last year, the Swiss firm confirmed it had received a number of unsolicited expressions of interest for the Lomas Bayas open-pit operation and also its Cobar mine in Australia’s New South Wales.

Glencore is in the midst of a program of asset sales, share offerings and other money raising efforts including by-product forward sales to reduce its  debt load.

Lomas Bayas — acquired by Glencore as part of its 2013 takeover of Xstrata —produced some 35,000 tonnes in the half-year to end June 2016 according to Glencore production results released today. Cobar produced 24,800 tonnes over the same period.

Glencore said its own sourced copper production of 703,000 tonnes was 4% down on H1 2015, due to the previously announced curtailments at its Zambian operations which was partly offset by generally higher grades in South America.