Las Bambas bidding heats up

Another Chinese company has put in a bid for Glencore Xstrata's (LON:GLEN) much-coveted Las Bambas copper mine, Reuters reports.

With Thurdsay's offer from Minmetlas, a state-owned metals and mining company, the $5.9 billion mine now has three Chinese wooers.

The managing director of Minmetals told Reuters his firm is being "very realistic" and will not be "too aggressive" in its pursuit of Las Bambas.

"We will be very cautious about our decision. It's unnecessary for Minmetals to buy assets at a crazy price or a price that we believe is not worth it."

Earlier this week China's Jiangxi Copper and Hong Kong-listed MMG submitted spearate bids for the Peruvian project. 

See also: Chinese miners face off over Glencore Xstrata's vast copper mine in Peru

With three state-owned companies now bidding for the site, China has strayed from its usual custom of designating a single bidder for overseas assets.

As part of its takeover deal for picking up Xstrata, Glencore promised Chinese antitrust authorities that it would sell the Las Bambas project.

Aside from Chinese bidders, US miner Newmont (NYSE:NEM), the world's second-largest gold producer, is also rumoured to be eyeing the Peruvian mine. The company has not confirmed whether it will bid.

Las Bambas is expected to produce more than 400,000 tonnes of copper per year once in production, as well as significant amounts of silver and gold.