August 3, 2017 / 10:14 AM / a year ago

BUZZ-Mitsui says Caserones copper mine operating at 90 pct of capacity

** Japan’s Mitsui & Co CFO Keigo Matsubara says Caserones copper mine in Chile is now operating at around 90 percent of capacity, back to January-March levels

** Caserones copper mine was forced to stop operations for three weeks following a blackout caused by heavy snow and rain in May

** Caserones mine is 77.37 percent-owned by a joint venture between JXTG Holdings Inc and Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co Ltd, while the remaining 22.63 percent held by Mitsui.

** Mitsui is seeking an alliance for its loss-making grain unit Multigrain Trading, but it is taking time to make an agreement as the unit is facing tougher competitions and lower margin, Matsubara says

** Mitsui expects the unit’s loss to grow bigger than its initial projection of 1.2 billion yen ($10.85 million) this financial year to March 2018

** Mitsui has sold a part of its stake in the Marcellus shale gas project in the United States for an undisclosed term. It now holds a 13.3 percent stake in the project, down from 15.5 percent, Matsubara says ($1 = 110.6200 yen) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi)

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