Japan’s Sojitz Corp is selling its 12.5% stake in Canada’s Gibraltar Mines, the country’s second largest open pit copper mine, to local partner Taseko Mines (TSX: TKO) (NYSE: TGB), the majority owner and operator.
The trading house said the main reasons for offloading its interest in the British Columbia-based mine, acquired in 2010, were unstable operations, declining grades and increased risk of environmental liabilities.
The deal will likely close by the end of March, Sojitz said.
Taseko’s other Japanese partners, Furukawa and DOWA Holdings, which hold 6.25% stake each in Gibraltar, separately said they had made no decisions on the future of their stakes.
The Canadian copper mine churned out last year 97 million pounds of copper, down 14% from the 112.3 million pounds it mined in 2021.
Production in December was impacted by unplanned mill downtime, including a site-wide power outage late in the month.
(With files from Reuters)