UPDATE 2-First Quantum to acquire Lumina Copper for $420 mln

Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:10pm EDT
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(Adds details from sources, background, share price move)

By Euan Rocha and Nicole Mordant

TORONTO/VANCOUVER, June 17 (Reuters) - First Quantum Minerals Ltd said on Tuesday it has agreed to buy Lumina Copper Corp for about C$456 million ($420 million), in a bid to win control of Lumina's Taca Taca copper project in Argentina.

The cash-and-stock deal values Vancouver-based Lumina at about C$9.71 a share, a premium of nearly 25 percent to the company's closing price on the TSX Venture Exchange on Monday.

The Taca Taca asset, located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of the world's largest copper mine Escondida in Chile, has estimated mineral resources of 21.15 billion pounds of copper.

The deal is a vote of confidence in Argentina, which in 2012 seized Spanish oil major Repsol's 51 percent stake in energy firm YPF. This year Repsol reached a $5 billion settlement with Argentina over the dispute.

A source involved in the Lumina takeover said First Quantum is not too concerned by the situation in Argentina.

"These things ebb and flow, and their sense is that things are going in the right direction in Argentina," said the source.

The acquisition comes at a time when the price of copper has fallen by a third from highs above $9,900 a tonne in February 2011. Copper was last trading just above $6,700 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange.   Continued...