Anglo American (AAL.L) is to sell two Chilean copper mines to investment firm Audley Capital for $300 million (£191.5 million), the company said on Monday, as it delivers its balance sheet to help combat a global slump in commodity prices.
Orion Mine Finance Group is principal co-investor with Audley for the open-pit Mantos Blancos and Mantoverde mines. The deal includes conditional future payments which could boost the eventual price tag by $200 million (£128 million), Anglo American said.
Following a review last year Anglo American said it would divest assets that did not meet its return criteria. The investment by Audley Capital was led by John Mackenzie, a former chief executive of Anglo’s copper business.
The potential follow-up payments are contingent on the copper price and also on whether the new investors decide to extend the sulphide life of the Mantoverde mine.
Banking sources had initially touted the mines as having a price tag of up to $1 billion. But as the copper price slid sources told Reuters that they could be worth less than $500 million (£319 million), despite attracting interest from Glencore (GLEN.L) and X2, the investment vehicle led by former Xstrata CEO Mick Davis.
“The sale of our Norte copper assets to the Audley consortium represents a good outcome for Anglo American, both in terms of the up-front value achieved, the potential upside geared to the copper price and the continued delivery of our asset disposal programme,” said Mark Cutifani, chief executive of Anglo American.
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