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Glencore, Mick Davis in running to purchase Anglo American's copper mines in Chile

As pressure for Anglo American to sell its non-core assets continues to mount, the bidding war for the companys Chilean mines is heating up.According to...

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|Jun 18|magazine7 min read

As pressure for Anglo American to sell its non-core assets continues to mount, the bidding war for the company’s Chilean mines is heating up.

According to Reuters, mining and trading company Glencore and X2 Resources were among the companies placing bids last week for two of Anglo American’s copper mines in Chile. Also in the running is Audley Capital, a British investment firm.

"The deadline to submit the bids was a week ago and X2 is still in the running," a first banking source said. "Mick (Davis) seems keen on those assets."

Davis, the former Xstrata CEO, has been struggling to secure a new mining deal for his company X2 Resources, despite raising more than $5.6 billion in capital. Davis was outbid in the first round of Barrick Gold’s Zaldivar copper mine in Chile earlier this week.

• Related content: Pressure Mounting for Mick Davis to Find New Mining Deals

Many analysts believe the two copper mines -- Mantos Blancos and Mantoverde – could fetch upwards of $1 billion. Anglo American is currently in the midst of wide-ranging efforts to cut costs and remove less-profitable parts of its business.

"They are both mines towards the end of their life although with some investment Mantoverde's life can be extended," a second industry source said. "I would think a smaller firm like Audley is more likely to get them. Certainly the John MacKenzie connection is strong."

An industry source said although Glencore was still in the process, it was unlikely to make a high enough bid to win the assets. 

Other companies in the bidding war include private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Magris Resources and mining company Nevsun Resource as well as Chilean state-owned Codelco.

The Mantos Blancos mine, which is located 30 miles from the Chilean port city Antofagasta, includes an open pit mine, crushing plants and installations for processing oxide and sulphide ore. Mantoverde, located in Chile’s Atacama Region, is one of the largest copper reserves in Chile with an estimated reserves of 580 million tons.

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