CESCO-Poland's KGHM seeks acquisitions every two-three years

Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:29pm EDT
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SANTIAGO, April 10 (Reuters) - Poland-based KGHM, Europe's No. 2 copper producer, is looking to make acquisitions every two to three years as it pushes ahead with a plan to transform itself into a top producer of the metal, Chief Executive Herbert Wirth said on Wednesday.

The company expanded overseas last year when it bought Canada's Quadra FNX for C$3 billion. The then-Poland focused company acquired operating mines in Chile, the United States and Canada, along with the promising Sierra Gorda development project in Chile's copper-rich Atacama desert.

Sierra Gorda, which is under construction, is one of the world's largest copper projects. The mine's annual production is expected to equal about 40 percent of KGHM's current output. The $3.9 billion project, a joint venture with Sumitomo, is on track to start production in the second quarter of 2014.

The Polish miner's sights are now set on other deals, Wirth told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the CESCO/CRU copper conference in Santiago.

"Now we are a global mining company we must every two or three years have acquisitions," Wirth said, adding the company was looking at junior mining companies.

The company has teams in Poland and Vancouver looking at international opportunities for the company, which has a goal of becoming a top copper producer by 2020.

Wirth said the 2012 takeover of Quadra FNX was a "perfect deal" for KGHM and noted the company remains copper-focused.