Lundin’s bid for Chilean copper hints at returning investor optimism – by Fabian Cambero and Divya Rajagopal (Reuters – April 14, 2023)

SANTIAGO, April 14 (Reuters) – Lundin Mining Corp’s (LUN.TO) bid for control of Chile’s Caserones copper mine comes despite ongoing uncertainty over potential policy changes to royalties and taxes, an indication that investors may be regaining confidence in the world no.1 copper-producing country.

Lundin last month agreed to pay $950 million for 51% control of the mine, calling the deal “an endorsement that we believe the mining royalty and taxation discussions are trending in the right direction.”

The deal caused some surprise. In the past 18 months, mining giants have been vocal about concerns in Chile. BHP Group Ltd (BHP.AX) said it might reevaluate its investments depending on new tax plans by the government, while Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX.N) has said it would pause expansion plans in Chile, citing political uncertainty.

But with the outlook looking rosier for investment and global demand surging for the key green energy metal, reluctance has diminished, experts and officials say. Chile’s mining minister, Marcela Hernando, told Reuters on Thursday she felt “confident” that the concerns of the industry had been taken into account with the royalty proposals and that she had seen hints investment was starting to improve.

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