Mining giant Glencore Xstrata GLNCY -1.99% PLC is close to reaching an agreement on the multibillion-dollar sale of its Las Bambas Peruvian copper project to a Chinese consortium and could announce the deal as early as Tuesday, people familiar with the situation said Monday.
The management of both Glencore and China Minmetals Corp, the state-controlled Chinese copper company leading the Chinese consortium, are set for a final meeting Tuesday in London with an aim toward signing an agreement, the people said. If all goes well, the sale of the Las Bambas mine—which would be one of the biggest Chinese mining acquisitions in recent years—could be announced after that, they said. There is still a chance that talks won't result in the signing of a deal.
Glencore Xstrata agreed to sell Las Bambas to win approval from China's Ministry of Commerce, known as Mofcom, for Glencore International PLC to acquire Xstrata PLCAluminum Corp. of China,2600.HK +0.77% or Chinalco, took a 12% stake in Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto PLC for US$14 billion, according to Dealogic.
A signing of the deal would cap months of negotiations that at times were strained. As recently as last month, talks between the Glencore and Minmetals' sides hit a snag over price, pushing talks beyond an internal March 4 deadline to reach a deal. The price the Chinese consortium will pay has yet to be determined and will be completed at the London meeting, one of the people said. The Chinese consortium ended up the front-runner for the asset earlier this year, people familiar with the deal said. At the time, they said Las Bambas would likely be sold for more than US$5 billion.
—Li Xin and Alex MacDonald contributed to this article."
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