Hudbay Minerals seeks to ‘extract value from its own camp’ before joining M&A frenzy – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – Janaury 24, 2020)

Peter Kukielski took over as chief executive of Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. this week as the miner tries to recover from multiple setbacks including a legal ruling that derailed its next planned mine. In an interview with the Financial Post on Wednesday, Kukielski said he plans to invest in existing assets and to look for operational efficiencies.

“We are not focused on M&A either on the acquisitions front or on the sales front,” he said. Kukielski, who has served as interim CEO since July, said the company can “extract value from our own camp.”

Previously, he served as chief executive of Nevsun Resources Ltd., which operated a mine in Ethiopia and was developing a copper-gold deposit in Serbia until it was purchased in 2018 for $1.4 billion by China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. He has also worked for a mining investment company, Teck Resources Ltd. and ArcelorMittal S.A.

Hudbay, which says it wants to be a low-cost copper producer focused on the Americas, posted a $343-million loss through the first nine months of 2019. It also faces questions about its growth pipeline.

In August, a federal judge in Arizona blocked its plans to construct its US$2 billion dollar Rosemont copper mine, raising questions about its permits and the project’s environmental impacts.

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