Copper producer KGHM may freeze more mines in Canada, U.S.: CEO – by Agnieszka Barteczko (Reuters Canada – April 10, 2019)

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s KGHM, one of the world’s biggest copper and silver producers, has no plan to sell its foreign assets but may freeze some in Canada or the United States if they require big investments, its chief executive said.

State-run KGHM, which for many years had focused only on Poland, accessed Chilean, Canadian and U.S. metal deposits through its almost $3 billion purchase of Quadra FNX in 2012, the largest foreign acquisition by any Polish company.

Since then, KGHM’s foreign assets have struggled with rising costs, falling copper prices, technical problems and higher-than-expected capital spending, which raised questions over KGHM’s plans regarding their potential sale.

“We are not currently thinking about selling foreign assets. We’re considering strategies for the next few years,” KGHM Chief Executive Marcin Chludzinski told Reuters. All of KGHM’s foreign mining projects except those in Chile have been put under review, he said.

“It’s not that we want to or have to sell. It’s more that we are looking at these assets as a strategic reserve. We’re considering actions similar to those we took at the Morrison mine, which is to freeze a project,” Chludzinski said.

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