Exclusive: Teck, Newmont, Blackstone in joint Las Bambas bid - sources

Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:56pm EST
 
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By Greg Roumeliotis, Euan Rocha and Michael Erman

NEW YORK/TORONTO (Reuters) - Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO, Newmont Mining Corp (NEM.N: Quote), private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N: Quote) and a firm led by the former head of Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) are working together on a bid for Glencore Xstrata's (GLEN.L: Quote) Las Bambas copper mine in Peru, according to several people familiar with the matter.

China's Minmetals has so far been seen as the front runner for the $5.9 billion project after Chinalco 3668.HK, the largest aluminum producer in China, dropped out of the race.

The next round of bids for Las Bambas is due next month, according to several sources.

The sources did not want to be named because the process is private and ongoing.

Teck, Newmont, Blackstone and Magris Resources, a firm led by former Barrick CEO Aaron Regent, have already reached out to financing banks for the potential bid, one of the sources said, suggesting the consortium sees itself a serious contender.

Commodities trader Glencore agreed this year to sell Las Bambas to secure approval from China's competition authorities for its takeover of miner Xstrata because Beijing feared the merged group would have too much power over the copper market.

A Chinese buyer has been considered a virtual certainty since Las Bambas was put on the block, given the deep pockets of the country's state-owned enterprises and China's hunger for copper - it is already the world's top consumer of the metal.

Teck, Magris and Blackstone declined to comment. A spokesman for Newmont was not immediately reachable for comment.   Continued...

 
Gary Goldberg, CEO of Newmont Mining Corp, speaks at the Denver Gold Forum industry conference in Denver September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking