Japanese mining company Lumina Copper is evaluating divestment of its controlling stake in the Caserones copper mine, located in the Atacama Region.
The company commissioned investment bank JP Morgan to act as exclusive financial advisor for “the potential sale of a controlling interest.”
It is a confidential document to which “El Mercurio” had access, in which the financial institution defines the operation as an “investment opportunity in an important open-pit copper mine in Chile”.
In the document, he talks about fictitious names that refer to the mining company inaugurated in 2014.
However, it is noted that the text does not represent a formal process of sale, which will occur only with the delivery of the final agreements by the relevant parties.
The eventual operation is considered as a unique opportunity to acquire an open-pit mine “of considerable size”, which also has a mineral mill and a leaching plant with capacity to produce 34,500 ktpa (thousands of tons per year).
It is expected that by the end of this year, the mine will exceed 153,000 tons of fine copper for the first time. To date, it has met the established monthly goals.
The outlook tends to raise this indicator to an average of 175 thousand tons per year of ore with low impurities in the next five years, which increases its attractiveness for sale to foundries.
The incipient process has attracted the attention of foreign media, and according to the Wall Street Journal, a potential sale of the deposit would be around US $1 billion.
But there are also factors against and many questions that remain to be solved in case they appear interested to buy Caserones. The principal has to do with the debt of more than US $3 billion that the mining company is carrying, as well as charges of more than US $35 million announced by the Superintendent of the Environment against the initiative.
When the company was consulted, the local subsidiary maintained that it does not have information about it.