Xstrata buys Billitons Tintaya

first_imgMany showed interest, including Rio Tinto, Southern Copper, Phelps Dodge and even Milpo. However, it is Xstrata that has acquired the Tintaya mine and associated satellite deposits in Peru from BHP Billiton. The acquisition price of $750 million comprises an initial cash consideration of $634 million and the assumption of $116 million of debt. An agreed price participation arrangement may result in further deferred cash payments to BHP Billiton and will be based on prevailing copper prices upon completion of the transaction. At current prices these payments would total approximately $60 million.Two further conditional deferred payments of US$25 million each in cash may also be payable to BHP Billiton. The first such amount will be payable in July 2009 if the LME copper price exceeds certain levels from July 2008 to June 2009. The second amount will be payable if either of the Antapaccay or Coroccohuayco satellite deposits are developed prior to 2020. The aggregate consideration payable by Xstrata is subject to a cap.The acquisition will expand Xstrata Copper’s current production portfolio with an additional 120,000 t/y of copper in cathode and concentrate. The company also says “Tintaya will also provide [it] with a unique opportunity to strengthen the [its] strategic position in southern Peru.” Together with Xstrata Copper’s existing copper business in Argentina (Minera Alumbrera which is managed and 50% owned by Xstrata), Tintaya will consolidate Xstrata’s position as a significant Latin American copper producer. Xstrata is also working on Las Bambas, a deposit lying at an elevation of 4,000-4,650 m in an isolated spot in southern Peru’s Apurimac department, one of the country’s poorest areas. Here it expects to “substantially” increase the initial resource above a recently published indicated and inferred resource of 300 Mt grading 1.1% Cu, plus molybdenum and gold values. Xstrata is engaged in the completion of a feasibility study of the project within a six year period, and has budgeted $24 million for Las Bambas in 2006. Xstrata Copper Chief Executive Charlie Sartain said the Tintaya acquisition was an important step in the execution of the business unit’s growth strategy. “One of our strategic objectives is to become a recognised leader in the copper industry. Profitable growth through acquisitions such as this will continue our rapid progress towards that objective,” he said. “Latin America will be a key part of this growth. Our current focus is on developing a significant operating division in southern Peru and continuing to extend our operations in Argentina based around the Alumbrera copper-gold mine.”Mr Sartain also emphasised Xstrata Copper’s commitment to the agreements that BHP Billiton has in place with the communities surrounding Tintaya. “We have a strong track record in working in partnership with local communities for mutual benefit in the remote locations where we operate. In relation to Tintaya we will continue to honour the commitments previously made to local communities and look forward to working together with local stakeholders through the formal dialogue processes that have been established.”It is expected that the Tintaya transaction will be completed within the next two months.last_img read more

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