Rio Tinto joins race for Teck’s copper project stake: sources – by Clara Denina (Reuters U.S. – November 14, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – Rio Tinto is among parties making a final offer for a minority stake in Teck Resources Ltd’s Quebrada Blanca copper mine expansion in northern Chile, a development worth $4.8 billion, two sources close to the matter said.

The world’s second largest mining company is eager to boost its copper assets, with the metal viewed in the industry as having one of strongest outlooks. Existing reserves are dwindling and increased electrification means demand is likely to be strong.

Canada’s Teck (TECKb.TO) (TECK.N) has said a development partner could contribute $2 billion for a 30 percent to 40 percent stake in the copper project, an investment deal it expects to close in the fourth quarter.

Rio Tinto declined to comment and Teck Resources did not respond to a request for comment. Final offers are also expected from Japanese trading houses Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) and Sumitomo Corp (8053.T), which are scouting for mining assets to buy with growing profit, driven by higher commodities prices, the sources said.

Mitsubishi, which recently agreed to raise its stake in the Quellaveco copper project in Peru it shares with Anglo American Plc (AAL.L), and Sumitomo were not immediately available to comment.

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