Canadian producer Lundin Mining confirmed it is acquiring a majority interest (51%) of JX Nippon Mining and Metals subsidiary SCM Minera Lumina Copper Chile, operator of the Caserones copper-molybdenum mine in the Atacama Region of Chile.
The price tag on the deal is about $950 million, including $800 million in cash consideration and $150 million in deferred cash payable in installments over six years. Lundin will also have rights to acquire up to an additional 19% interest in Caserones for $350 million over a five-year period commencing on the first anniversary of the date of closing.
Lundin said there were a number of rationales behind its purchase, including enhancing its copper production profile. Additionally, the purchase aligns with its strategic goals to deliver a large-scale, long-life copper operation with favorable cash flow generation to complement its existing operations and overall copper-dominant portfolio of high-quality base metal mines.
The deal also has potential synergies, it said, because of the proximity to Lundin Mining’s Candelaria operations.
“Chile is a well-established Tier-1 mining jurisdiction,” the company said. “Lundin Mining has made a significant investment in the region and the country, and can leverage its operating experience, as well as local regulatory and community relationships.”
CEO Peter Rockandel added that the miner has considerable knowledge and experience in the region, and with meaningful improvements there in recent years, it can work to unlock additional upside through its strong technical resources and existing presence.
“The initial controlling interest increases our exposure to what we believe is a growing top-tier copper mining district. We retain the option to further increase our ownership over the next few years at an attractive price. The acquisition further solidifies Lundin Mining’s position as a growing global producer of copper as the world shifts to a lower carbon future.”
Caserones is located approximately 160 kilometres southeast of Copiapó, 9 km from the border with Argentina, and at an altitude of approximately 4,500 metres above sea level. It produces copper and molybdenum concentrates from a traditional open-pit mine and conventional sulphide flotation plant, as well as copper cathode from a dump leach, solvent extraction and electrowinning plant.
First copper cathode was produced in 2013, followed by copper and molybdenum concentrates in 2014.