Another Chinese bidder for Glencore Xstrata’s Peruvian mine

Jiangxi Copper – China’s largest copper producer – wants a piece of Glencore Xstrata’s (LON:GLEN) pie as it joins a list of potential buyers for the company’s Peruvian Las Bambas project.

Jiangxi is not the first Chinese firm to show interest in the $5.2 billion mine: Chinalco Mining and Hong Kong’s MMG are also rumoured potential bidders, Reuters reports. 

As the world’s biggest copper importer, China is looking to secure a domestic-owned source for the metal. Currently, the country only satisfies one-third of its demand.

Las Bambas’ three pits are expected to produce more than 400,000 tonnes of copper per year once operations begin at the end of 2014.

But the clock is ticking for the European mining giant. When Glencore merged with Xstrata in May it agreed to sell the Las Bambas project; based on the agreement with Chinese regulators it must do so by end-August 2014.

The sale is part of the company’s push to cut costs while it licks its wounds from a $7.7 billion Q2 write-down. So far only the Chinese firms have been cited as potential buyers.

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