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IGO in talks with Glencore to buy CSA copper mine

IGO and Glencore are engaged in ‘exclusive discussions’ regarding the sale of Glencore’s CSA copper mine in New South Wales.

Last week, various media outlets reported CSA had been acquired by IGO through an auction.

On Monday, IGO released a statement confirming its interest in the mine but threw caution to the wind, suggesting “discussions between IGO and Glencore are incomplete and IGO is continuing to conduct due diligence as part of the ongoing sales process”.

“IGO has made no decision and nor has it entered into any definitive acquisition agreement with respect to CSA,” the major miner continued.

IGO said it would continue to keep the market updated on any developments regarding the sale.

Glencore has been trying to offload CSA since 2015. Aurelia Metals showed interest in the CSA mine in 2019, before backing out in May of that year.

The company released a statement at the time saying it would instead be focussing on the leadership transitions occurring at the company.

In April 2019, interest by Aeris Resources in the CSA mine also fell through, with the former unable to come to an agreement with Glencore regarding the mine.

It posted an $878 million offer to Glencore for the underground mine in March 2019, which included $807 million in cash and $71 million in shares.

The CSA mine produces around 50,000 tonnes of copper each year, which is mined and processed onsite, before being railed 700 kilometres to the Port of Newcastle for export to smelters in Asia.

One of Australia’s deepest underground mines (1.75 kilometres), the mine directly employs 500 people (including contractors) and operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

In 2019, CSA mine contributed $305 million to the local, state and national economies.

It comes after IGO received the support of Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Consolidated Investments in its takeover of Western Areas late last week.

Wyloo has committed to its 9.8 per cent interest in Western Areas as part of the takeover, a significant milestone for IGO as it looks to complete the acquisition by early May 2022.

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