Glencore Mine Sale Said to Draw Interest From Ex-Barrick CEO – by Jesse Riseborough and Dinesh Nair (Bloomberg News – January 14, 2016)

Former Barrick Gold Corp. Chief Executive Officer Aaron Regent is among the remaining bidders for Glencore Plc’s Lomas Bayas copper mine in the Chilean desert of Atacama, according to people familiar with the sale.

Regent, who runs Magris Resources Inc., is competing against a small number of Chile-focused operators that have offered Glencore close to $1 billion for the mine, said two people who asked not to be identified as the sale is confidential. While the offering is at an advanced stage, Glencore may still decide to retain the asset, the people said.

A sale at such a price would be a boon for cash-strapped Glencore, which is seeking to trim its $30 billion debt load to $18 billion by the end of this year to appease investors concerned about waning commodity prices.

The Swiss firm said in October it was in talks to sell Lomas Bayas and the Cobar copper mine in Australia after approaches from potential buyers. Together, the operations produce about 125,000 metric tons of copper a year, and Citigroup Inc. and UBS Group AG said at the time they may fetch as much as a combined $1 billion while Investec Plc valued them both as $400 million.

“We’re sure Glencore would jump at such an offer,” Investec analysts wrote in a note to clients on Thursday, pointing to the takeover of copper miner Equinox Minerals Ltd. struck by Regent in 2011.

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