China Minmetals Corp., Jiangxi Copper Co. and Zijin Mining Group Co. are among companies considering bids for Barrick Gold Corp.’s Zambian copper mine that could fetch about $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Representatives for Barrick, China Minmetals, Jiangxi Copper and Zijin declined to comment. Representatives at China Molybdenum and Chinalco couldn’t immediately comment.
Lumwana, an open-pit mine, is expected to produce 210 million to 240 million pounds of copper this year and has proven and probable copper reserves of 4.5 billion pounds, according to Barrick’s website.
Barrick acquired Lumwana as part of its takeover of Equinox Minerals Ltd. for more than $7 billion in 2011 and took a $3 billion writedown on the mine two years later. Lumwana was valued at about $1 billion in 2014. Subsequently, the Zambian government proposed to raise mining taxes, putting Lumwana in a “challenging situation,” according to Bristow.
Barrick is working with Bank of Nova Scotia to identify buyers for its Tongon Gold mine in the Ivory Coast as the company ramps up asset disposals following its purchase of Randgold Resources Ltd., people familiar with the matter said in August.
— With assistance by Winnie Zhu