February 16, 2018 / 9:53 AM / 8 months ago

b-Japan's Mitsui to raise stake in Chile's Collahuasi copper mine

16 feb (Reuters) - * Mitsui buys 3.6 pct stake in Collahuasi from JX

* Mitsui sells 1.25 pct stake in Los Pelambres to JX, Marubeni

* Mitsui’s equity copper output to rise by 15,000 tonnes a year (Adds details)

TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co Ltd said on Friday it will reshuffle its copper assets in Chile, increasing its stake in the Collahuasi mine and selling a small stake in the Los Pelambres mine, boosting its overall copper volumes.

Mitsui said it would buy a 3.6 percent stake in Collahuasi from JX Nippon Mining & Metals, a unit of JXTG Holdings Inc , taking its total stake to 11.03 percent. It would sell its 1.25 percent stake in Los Pelambres to JX Metals and trading company Marubeni Corp.

Mitsui said the deals would boost its equity copper output volume by about 15,000 tonnes a year to 140,000 tonnes a year.

The move is part of its effort to optimize its portfolio by replenishing and accumulating high-quality assets, it said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

JX Metals’ holding in Los Pelambres will rise to 15.79 percent from 15 percent, and Marubeni’s stake will rise to 9.21 percent from 8.75 percent, according to JX and Marubeni.

JX said the transactions were aimed at concentrating its resources on its key assets. Funds from the sale will be used to reinforce its processing business.

Marubeni’s purchase of an additional stake comes as it strengthens its copper platform from a long-term viewpoint, it said in a statement.

Japanese trading houses are scouting for assets as they enjoy their best profit outlook in six years, driven by higher prices for commodities from metals and coking coal to oil and natural gas.

Chilean mining company Antofagasta PLC owns 60 percent of Los Pelambres, while Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi Materials Corp and Mitsubishi Corp, hold the rest.

Glencore and Anglo American each own 44 percent of Collahuasi, while 12 percent is held by Japanese companies including Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co Ltd.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Tom Hogue and Richard Pullin nL4N1Q60YE

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