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Freeport-McMoran mulls selling one of largest copper mines in Chile

Freeport-McMoran mulls sale of one of largest copper mines in Chile

Candelaria mine.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold’s (NYSE:FCX) Chilean copper mine Candelaria has attracted the interest of Magris Resources, the private equity firm founded by former Barrick Gold Corp (TSX:ABX) chief executive Aaron Regent.

Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal says the mining complex — one of Freeport’s largest— has been in the market for some time.

The open-pit and 6,000 metric ton-per-day (mtd) underground copper mine, located in Chile’s copper-rich north, is adjacent to the Ojos del Salado mine.  Combined production from both operation reached 87 million pounds of copper in the first quarter, roughly 9% of total production of the red metal at Freeport’s mines.

Thanks to these and other copper assets, the Arizona-based company surpassed Chile’s state copper producer Codelco in 2013, briefly reaching the status of world’s largest copper producer.