Trafigura-backed copper miner Atalaya Mining seeks buyer
LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Copper producer Atalaya Mining, which is backed by Swiss trading giant Trafigura, is looking for a buyer, two banking sources said on Thursday.
The Cyprus-based miner has hired Canadian investment bank Bank of Montreal to help with the sale, the sources said.
Atalaya's main copper asset, the Proyecto Riotinto in the Spanish region of Andalucia, was part of a mine complex bought in 1873 by the founders of Rio Tinto from the Spanish government to start the Anglo-Australian mining giant.
Atalaya Mining produced 166,000 tonnes of copper concentrate in 2017 and has a market capitalization of 327 million pounds ($433 million).
Trafigura and Chinese smelter and refiner Yanggu Xiangguang Copper are the main shareholders in Atalaya with 22 percent each, followed by U.S. metals funds Liberty Metals & Mining Holdings and Orion Mine Finance, which hold a combined 28 percent.
Atalaya and Trafigura declined to comment and Yanggu Xiangguang Copper was not immediately available to comment.
Bank of Montreal was also not immediately available to comment.
After Rio Tinto's ownership, the Proyecto Riotinto mining complex changed hands a few times before Atalaya, then Emed Mining, bought it 20 years ago. It restarted production in 2016.
Copper, used in power, batteries and construction, is one of the most sought commodities due in part to its use in the renewable and electric vehicle sectors. ($1 = 0.7561 pounds)
(Reporting by Clara Denina; Additional reporting by Julia Payne; Editing by Susan Fenton)