LONDON Oct 3 China's Minmetals has submitted a
first-round bid for Glencore-Xstrata's $5.9 billion Las
Bambas copper mine in Peru, Gu Liangmin, managing director of
the state-owned metals and mining company, said on Thursday.
"We have come to the first round of bids for Las Bambas. I
can assure that Minmetals is very realistic and all our actions
should be rational and not too aggressive," Gu said at the Metal
Bulletin copper concentrates conference in London.
"We will be very cautious about our decision. It's
unnecessary for Minmetals to buy assets at a crazy price or a
price that we believe is not worth it."
Glencore-Xstrata agreed to sell Las Bambas this year to meet
demands from China's antitrust authorities after Glencore's
takeover of mining group Xstrata. The regulator feared the
tie-up handed the newly formed commodities powerhouse too much
clout in copper.
Glencore has long reported strong Chinese interest in Las
Bambas, but there have been questions among industry analysts
and observers over whether Chinese authorities will allow
competition between Chinese industrial groups, or pick a horse
The mining company said last month Chinese suitors might be
allowed to compete against each other in the race for the mine,
given strong interest.
Chinalco Mining Corp and Jiangxi Copper
are among the Chinese groups also interested in the
project, sources familiar with the bid have said. One of the
sources said Jiangxi, China's largest copper producer, had
paired up with Chinalco.
Peru's Mines Minister Jorge Merino said on Thursday that
firms from several different countries have expressed interest
in buying Las Bambas.
"I cannot give names of companies," Merino told reporters.
"But what I can say is that there are companies from many
countries - from Australia, from China, Canadian companies,
there are also American companies interested in the project."