Glencore, the Swiss commodities trading giant, has unveiled plans to increase its influence in the copper market with a $475m (£296.4m) bid to take control of Marcobre, the Peruvian copper mining business.
The group, which became a publicly quoted company with dual London and Hong Kong listing back in May, has agreed to buy CST Mining's 70 per cent stake in the business, which owns the Mina Justa copper project in southern Peru. The deal, which is subject to various conditions, including due diligence by Glencore, is expected to close in October.
"Mina Justa would ideally complement Glencore's existing polymetallic mining operations in Peru, and add significant value to our worldwide group of copper mining assets," the co-director of the trading group's zinc, copper and lead department, Daniel Mate, said.
The deal comes on the heels of signs of consolidation in the wider sector, with the Chinese mining group Jinchuan recently bidding more than $1.3bn to trump an offer from Brazil's Vale for the South African copper and cobalt producer Metorex, whose portfolio includes in the Chibuluma copper mine in Zambia.
Mining analysts at Liberum capital said the Mina Justa deal would see Glencore, which owns around 34 per cent of the FTSE 100-listed mining group Xstrata, shelling out about $0.54 per pound of copper reserve. The Jinchuan bid for Metroex, on the other hand, works out to about $0.94 per pound.
"While the 43 per cent discount reflects the earlier development status of the project, the deal nevertheless looks to be attractively priced for Glencore and fully underscores Glencore's aspirations to realise rapid growth through organic and opportunistic acquisitive growth," they said.