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Glencore mulling offers for CSA copper mine in Australia

Glencore’s CSA Mine at Cobar, in regional New South Wales, is one of Australia’s highest grade copper mines. (Image courtesy of Glencore Australia.)

Glencore’s (LON: GLEN) long-running campaign to sell its CSA copper mine in Australia’s New South Wales state may finally be coming to an end, as the miner confirmed on Friday it had received interest from bidders for a potential deal. 

The Swiss firm is expected to tap Bank of America and UBS to assist with the sale of the underground mine near Cobar, which Glencore first tried offloading in 2015, as part of a wider plan to cut down debt. Failing to agree a deal with potential buyers, it then decided to retain the asset as copper prices climbed back up from multi-year lows. 

The miner and commodities giant got close to selling CSA to small Australian copper producer Aeris Resources (ASX: AIS) in 2019, but negotiations fell through. 

Glencore said talks are at an early stage, adding there is no guarantee at this point that a transaction would materialize

Aurelia Metals, (ASX:AMI) an exploration and development company, also engaged in negotiations around a potential acquisition of the mine.

A spokesperson for the company said current talks were at an early stage, adding there was no guarantee at this point that a transaction would materialize. 

The Cobar mine produces over 1.1 million tonnes of copper ore and 185,000 tonnes of copper concentrate. The concentrate contains approximately 29% copper and is exported to smelters in India, China and Southeast Asia. With 4.3% copper grade in reserves, this mine holds fourth place in MINING.COM’s list of highest-grade underground copper operations

Glencore valued the asset at $329 million at the end of 2013, but it is now expected to fetch over $725 million, The Australian reported. Last year, it produced 46,200 tonnes of copper, contributing A$309-million (about $224m) to Glencore’s books. 

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