Mining companies form queue for ICM

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The Independent Online

At least a dozen big-name mining firms are eyeing a takeover or joint venture with International Consolidated Minerals (ICM), the copper and lead producer listed on the Alternative Investment Market.

ICM chairman Greg Smith said that up to six mining companies, three valued at more than $25bn (£14bn), had visited its key asset, the Pachapaqui mine in Peru, since Credit Suisse was hired to look at strategic options for the business earlier this year. He added that another six or seven were due to visit later this year.

Mr Smith's plan is to build up the mine over the next two years and then sell up for more than $1bn, though this could happen in 2009 as the mine will be "cashflow positive" for the first time come March. He said on Friday: "We would look at an outright sale or at a joint venture. We've had a lot of interest and people have asked for information."

ICM became a dual-listed miner last month, floating on the Lima Stock Exchange in Peru.